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March 2, 2012

Schools are run by meetings… I didn’t invent this process, but it is how schools have operated for as long as I (or the veterans I asked) can remember.  With limited time, I have been thinking about the value of each meeting I attend.  Not only the value I find in the meeting, but also the value for the other attendees and the outcome produced.  In reviewing our meetings, I am reminded of how important it is to have right people in the meeting.

For example, like almost all schools, we meet as departments to address issues.  What if instead of meeting by department, we meet assembled meetings with the people most able to address an issue.  If we had an issue with 8th grade math scores, meeting as an 8th grade math department doesn’t necessarily address the issue.  What if we looked to create a vertical group that had 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th grade teachers to determine if this is an issue that begins 8th grade or if there are other factors like previous skill building activities that contribute to the issue.  We could also invite non-math teachers to help determine if there are other aspects to the student performance in math that can be addressed in their subject areas. (For the record, we don’t have an 8th grade math issue…)

Our time is limited, so making it productive is the priority.  Perhaps even more important,  is having the right people in the room to help craft the best outcome.

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