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Start of term department meeting

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by kvw14, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. kvw14

    kvw14 New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I’d like some advice please.

    Im having a departmental meeting on the first day of term. There’ll be approx 200 people and a mix of teachers and teaching assistants. It’s an opportunity to look at key areas for development and share important messages etc.

    I don’t want it to be too dry as there are lots of other meetings that day. I’d like to start off in a relaxed way, perhaps with some sort of ice breaker.

    Do any of you have any ideas for good activities/ice breakers that’d work on this scale?

    Thanks everyone!
  2. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    Why do you feel you need an ice breaker - what is it it’s purpose?
    200 people in the dept?!!!

    I always felt patronised by them . and thought they were a waste of time. I just wanted the course leader to get on with with whatever they had to say or wanted us to do.
    i would talk to people and get to know them during the course of our working lives - not thorough a staged ‘activity’
  3. borges33

    borges33 New commenter

    Keep it short and sweet. There are a million other things they'd rather be doing. Can't you send an email, with an attachment, instead?
  4. FormosaRed

    FormosaRed Occasional commenter

    Wow. What subject has 200 teachers in it's department ? I wouldn't have thought you'd need any ice-breakers. That party's ready to roll.
  5. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    In a previous career, I use to run large scale training events. In my experience, the best icebreakers are:
    a) thought provoking (the kind that have people coming up to you afterwards saying "wow I never knew that...")
    b) are relevant to what you intend to focus on.

    So if, for example, you are talking about how to provide for EAL students in mainstream classes, I would begin by having an EAL student talk to the staff about being an EAL student in their home language, then ask staff to turn to the person in front/behind them and ask them to discuss a) what they think was just said and b) how that made them feel. Then get feedback. It gets people talking (and not to the people the are sitting next to, whom they probably already know) and introduces your topic. Or, if I was doing numeracy across the curriculum, I'd post some Maths puzzles that are counter-intuitive and repeat. Literacy - post some common errors and ask staff to discuss a) what is the error and b) how they would go about correcting it. Etc, etc.

    If you really want people to get up and move around, perhaps a "Find somebody who..." type activity might be worthwhile, but, again, link it to your session's purpose. e.g. find somebody who has had specific training in working with dyslexic students; find somebody whose students achieved above average grades; find somebody who organised a successful student exchange; etc; etc. Use it as an opportunity to celebrate last year's successes and signpost other staff members to colleagues who might be able to offer advice in key areas.

    I hope that's helpful. Good luck.

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