Staff meetings are essential to setting the policies, standards and culture you want to see in your school. But most often, they end up being being too slow to respond to issues unfolding in real time. The result is a misuse of valuable time that accomplishes very little. And this limits potential progress at your school site.
What about the edchat?
Pioneering educators have created a new way to collaborate and share with their colleagues online: the Twitter edchat. Edchats can take many forms, but most have a specific time and follow a Q&A format for dialogue. The are open, dynamic, fun and a great way to build a PLN. But the same thing that makes them great is also what limits their value within your school.
Say hello to the safer edchat.
Safer edchats follow the same Q&A format, but take place off Twitter on a less public platform, like Recap. Moderators have improved ways to introduce topics and link to supporting resources. There are privacy tools that help promote deeper dialogue and the development of new understanding. They are done asynchronously, so participants get more space and choice in how to respond. And they get to explain their thinking through extended chat tools and video responses.
Safer edchats have the ability to turn many time consuming activities in staff meetings into offline activities, to avoid overwhelming teachers and save time in staff meetings for what matters: teacher collaboration.
9 Ways to Avoid Staff Meeting Boredom with Edchats
- Present New Information for Feedback: Instead of consuming time during staff meetings for videos and documentation, with limited time to discuss them, flip your meeting and introduce resources offline for teachers to process as time permits. Then gather more reactions in your staff edchat.
- Discuss Controversial Current Events: Controversies and current events rarely coincide with your scheduled staff meetings. And these days, knowing how to handle them is more complex than ever. Safer edchats help you explore and gain alignment on how to handle these issues with your students as they arise, without having to schedule an impromptu meeting.
- Explore and Define New Policies: What are the guidelines for homework in our school? How do we discipline bad behavior? What do our privacy policies mean for the use of technology? Edchats can help build understanding and alignment on these important issues for your school, rather than going back and forth in person.
- Think Through the Impact of Changing Standards: Changes in curriculum standards can be hectic and scary for teachers, and many questions arise regarding what this will mean for teachers’ day-to-day. Explore the rationale for why standards are changing to provide the context necessary to build authentic motivation to enact real change.
- Spread Positive School Culture: Your school culture starts with your staff. Help them tackle the tough issues they face on a daily basis that impact the school community by providing a space to chat about how to handle bullying, promote tolerance and inclusivity, etc.
- Unveil Helpful Tools: Help your staff explore the tools available to them at your school, and share advice and experiences of using them in their own classrooms. An edchat can help staff to locate both the tools available and their peers who can help them get started.
- Establishing a Local PLN: Twitter edchats are proven to help individual teachers self-assemble a PLN through discussion of important topics and finding common interest. Accelerate building authentic PLN’s within your school using the same methodology.
- Share Everyone's Success Stories: There's not enough time in each meeting to share all of the great things happening at your school. Provide teachers a way to share their successes more often, in a way where everyone can hear it, so that they can bring same great practices to their own classrooms.
- Incorporate Student Voice and Choice: If students aren’t present at staff meetings and discussing important issues with you, they don’t really have a voice. Safer edchats give you a new way for students to participate in the dialogue directly with administration and teachers.