Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Game Changer: Teacher Meetings #KidsDeserveIt

So I'm in the middle of something that has already become a game changer for me (and hopefully my team too!)

Coming back from the holiday break I really wanted to get some one-on-one face time with each of my team members.  I wanted to spend more time listening to them and hearing them.  Now, my team has 80 members, so it was going to be no small undertaking.

Well this past week I met with every single teacher on campus.  I sent out a Doodle (which if you haven't heard of or used it, you must, it's so easy!) for teachers to sign up for a time to meet with me.  I let them know that it wouldn't take more than 15 minutes and I just wanted to chat.

So over the course of the week I sat down with each teacher and listened.  I asked them just a couple of questions:

1.  I always started with asking them how their break went and if they actually relaxed any.
2.  I asked them what their goals were for this semester.
3.  I asked them what their one word was going to be for this semester to focus on.
4.  I asked them how I could better help them (and then took time to share with them that my goal for this semester was to be more academically involved; team teaching, modeling lessons, taking intervention groups, reading to classes more, etc; so they needed to think of ways to take advantage of that!)
5.  Then I ended with asking them if there was anything heavy on their hearts about the campus or culture that they wanted to share.

For me, the meetings were a game changer.  It was so nice to just be able to give each teacher individual attention.  To just sit and listen.

I loved hearing the goals they set for themselves and the reason they chose their one word.

I also really enjoyed hearing their ideas on how I could better support them and what issues they may or may not have with how things are going.  It was great for me to really hear that our staff was really feeling good about the campus as a whole and work that was taking place.

One familiar phrase that kept being brought up is that they felt; encouraged, challenged, and like a family where we're all working towards a common goal. Loved that!

I took notes during every single meeting, because my goal is to have these meetings again in two months and check in with each member about how they're keeping up with their goals, as well as their one word!

And next week I meet with all our other team members who aren't classroom teachers.  I can't wait to hear from them as well!

So my challenge to other administrators is to make time in your schedule to have those face to face, one on one, conversations.  Remember that we have time for what we make time for.  It really makes a difference.