Because there is so much pressure on you, your peers, your principal, and your district to integrate the CCSS effectively, this priority needs to be everyone’s priority. It’s highly likely that the teachers in your grade band will be asked to join forces to tackle the CCSS together.
To keep such work sessions productive and positive, it takes a bit of smart planning. Here are some strategies for making these team meetings effective and efficient. We’re sharing them with you because they work!
If you are part of a team meeting, set regular meeting times and remind others ahead of time. Have a rule that you will begin on time and end on time. Then, stick to that. Allow some time for team members to connect though, as it is important to gel as a team.
At the Helm
To avoid too much burden on any one person, it often works best to rotate who leads the meetings, provides a healthy snack, and is in charge of logistics.
Sharing this leadership can help to create a supportive climate for all participants. Set a time limit for each meeting with a specific agenda of what’s to be accomplished—and by whom. Collaboration starts with you!
When it’s your turn to “host” a team meeting, set the stage by using tent cards to sprinkle the meeting space with positive and motivational messages. Promote active listening.
Use the tent card downloads attached here to get you started. We’ve also provided a template so you can add a few messages of your own.
Sign Up at the Start
Each team member should sign up to host and run a session. Build a schedule and include an “understudy” so that if someone is out with the flu, “The meeting must go on.”
Designate one note taker to distribute notes and action items for confirmation by all attendees. This note taker should be responsible for circulating final notes to those who were not in attendance, too. This will save “catch-up” time at the next meeting.
Be a Goalie
As a team, begin by setting a limited number of strategic goals for the year. Make sure they align with the goals of your school’s administration. Start with three big goals, breaking them down into sub-goals and tasks.
After a few meetings, be sure to make time to ask one another how the meetings are working. If you’ve instituted a few practices, check in to be sure they are working. If something’s missing, refine the game and meeting plan.
Expand Your Own CCSS Meeting Process
As you begin your team meetings, check out the amazing meeting tools that are part of the Common Core Kit for Success by Teacher Peach. This kit includes a meeting pocket folder, meeting notepad, and arrow-shaped sticky notes for team planning and collaboration. There’s even an erasable marker! Yes, not every initial idea remains unchanged. The playbook in the kit gives you step-by-step strategies, hints, and prompts to guide you through your team meetings, too. You team might even opt to use this playbook as your guide. It makes a great “piece of evidence” to support your team’s accomplishments!
Stay tuned for more CCSS ideas in future blog posts. What strategies work for your team meetings? Are you meeting with peers to make collaborative progress or are these get-togethers in need of some structure and improvement? Share what’s working—and might work better—so we can help to create products that will support your school on its CCSS discovery journey.
- October 13, 2015
- Randi Brill