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What percentage of your weekly staff meetings are awful?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by WB, May 9, 2017.

  1. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    I know someone who sneeked this into the "conference" room wall. It stayed there for some time before being discovered/removed....
    peggylu likes this.
  2. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Last year we have two staff CPD meetings (1 1/2hr) in a row, held by the same member of SLT presenting the same content.

    I half think she was doing it on purpose to see if anyone listened at all.

    (The sad part was "What characteristics did your favourite teacher at school have". We all came up with someone who would basically be unemployable now.)
    peggylu likes this.
  3. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    I am sure that SLT take courses in using inappropriate colour combinations and font sizes. Either that or they have been promoted so fast they never had to make any themselves.
    Shedman likes this.
  4. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    In my first teaching job at a small school, the HT was responsible for every aspect of staff meetings, and they couldn't start without him. The staff would sit fuming as we listened to him chatting on the phone in the next room. On one occasion the meeting was over thirty minutes late in starting, and we were not impressed. The meetings were designed to waste time and followed as much format as the slow trickle of sewage towards the sea.

    Later in my career, we endured a control freak who not only scripted their speech, they projected it via IWB and, we felt so blessed, gave us all an identical printed copy to "file". Discussion was not permitted as it could not be added to the script. If anyone was foolish enough to say something, the recitation paused and the fool was silently stared at until s/he stopped talking.
  5. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I know your pain, @rosievoice! Once, I worked in a school with a new Head, who had started off as a biology teacher. He insisted on taking a small teaching load, perhaps with good intentions but, in practice, it was a disaster. More often than not, he was unavailable to take his lessons, so his timetable had to be divided up between us, so that his groups did not fall behind. He also undermined the role of the HoD, as he would take over at departmental meetings, which were continually postponed to suit his convenience. Sometimes, we would sit there twiddling our thumbs for nearly an hour, waiting for him to turn up, or to send word that he was not coming.
  6. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    This is sad but probably very true.
    Anonymity likes this.
  7. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter


    Three times a year, we get to sit there and be presented with a 'pack' (a poly pocket with endless sheets of pretty colour-coded spreadsheets of pupil results, targets, progress tracking v interventions etc etc drivel)

    Followed by the same discussion that we have every single time about that same bloody child who's had every 'intervention' going, rarely bothers coming to school on time, puts in no effort whatsoever, is positively disruptive and a nuisance to everyone else and, as for support from home, forget it.

    But it still takes up a good half an hour of meeting time discussing the Emperor's New Clothes. By which point. I've usually lost the will to live, several times over.
    Shedman, peakster, Alldone and 2 others like this.
  8. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I know what you mean, @whitestag. I used to sit in some of these 'meetings' and think that, other being able to identify the connectives and the definite and indefinite articles as being English, the speaker, or worse, the reader, might as well have using a foreign language, 'understanding-wise'. Even worse is when the reader then pauses every sentence to 'un-pack' its meaning.
  9. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    I can't make up my mind what I like the most: the reading to me from a PowerPoint (I can read myself, y'know); the same people doing the presentations all the time so the rest of us unchosen feel like poop for never being choisen - our expertise, ideas, teaching routines - they are clearly pants; the sitting on uncomfortable chairs so your bum goes numb; the presentations where SLT decide the best way to inspire good work is to humiliate individual teachers and/or departments by rank ordering them by result...or whether it may just be the time we were lectured about proofreading reports and letters as ours were just not up to scratch professionally (with a grocer's apostrophe, the incorrect use of a comma, mis-spelled homophones and incorrectly paragraphed in the handout and PowerPoint). It's hard to take someone seriously when they tell you about checking the accuracy of your work when they've written: Teacher's must take responsibility for their own practise.
  10. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I endure meetings without too much pain usually - but last night I got a bit p***** off. Extra meeting called to discuss something we could have done by email and then our usual department habits which is too much chatting (mostly by the person who contributes the least to the department) and very little of any significance being done. Only one bit of the meeting was going to be relevant to me and it looked like it would take a very long time to get to it. So I asked if we could do that bit now - which we did and then I left. The rest of them were probably there for another hour.
  11. drek

    drek Star commenter

    At this time of the year with so many on gained time, the meetings are particularly onerous for those of us still carrying out the bulk of the teaching for years 7 to 10.

    It's particularly galling that so many of the shirkers come up with patronisingly new behaviour 'policies', things to remind the students not to do, pick up on....in the last 4 - 5weeks of term.

    They have ignored it themselves all year in favour of getting through the curriculum like the rest of us.....

    On top of top tips for teaching, writing reports (the tips always come after the rest of us have spent hours writing them out naturally.....efficiency being the corner stone of education policies).

    Maybe instead of observing the teachers who are actually doing the 'teaching' they can form a sort of posse in their gain time and keep chasing the students out of the classrooms to wag their fingers at them for gods sake.

    One lead kept saying how 'disappointed' he was because when he 'popped' into lessons he kept seeing the same kids wearing bracelets etc etc.

    Well old chap we teachers give the warnings, get the attitude back and then we have to decide at what point do we carry on teaching or carry on giving warnings....it's a finely tuned exhausting balance.

    If you keep seeing the 'same' students ignoring repeated warnings all day do something in your completely free time table.

    What is wrong with these people? Are they born selfish and rude or do they really have to work hard at it?
    peggylu likes this.
  12. drek

    drek Star commenter

    A most effective policy at meetings could be....if you aren't teaching this term please just shut up.
    peggylu and Shedman like this.
  13. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Particularly soul-destroying are those long meetings, forced on exhausted teaching staff by some member of the SMT to explain the absurdly complicated policy on which they have been working exclusively for the last three months, which leaves you wondering whether the speaker has completely lost contact with reality. One the lingers in my mind, like a smell on the landing, was to explain what we were to do under various sorts of 'emergency, such as fire, terrorism, etc. With a completely straight face, this man told us how we would know what sort of emergency it was by the sound of the alarm bells. One sort of emergency would be something like a four second bell followed by three second gap, while something else would be a six second bell followed by a three second gap, while yet another would have a three second bell.......! If that was not absurd enough, we were then told that the alarms would be backed up by designated staff members, wearing high visibility tabards, walking through the corridors waving different coloured pieces of plastic, according to the nature of the 'threat'.
    peggylu, drek, lulu57 and 2 others like this.
  14. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    The names of those students who are underachieving (lazy) are displayed on a whiteboard. Staff gather in groups depending on which of the students they teach and then discuss 'strategies' to get them to work harder. Outcome - absolutely nothing except wasting staff time.
    Beyond the well-worn and tired 'solutions' of having them back at lunchtimes and after school, and more often than not they don't turn up, what can you do?
  15. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    We used to have an achievement board with passport photos on all clustered in groups. It looked very impressive but I doubt whether anyone ever really looked at it.
  16. Ex-teacher

    Ex-teacher Occasional commenter

    Some years ago, when projectors were relatively new in schools, a guest speaker at an inset day called PowerPoint "ohp on steroids".

    Our staff meetings usually consist of a hastily erected screen and projector on a chair, meaning that anyone not in the front row can't see the PowerPoint... and the front row is "reserved" for those favoured few who spend the lecture nodding frantically in agreement.

    Time is often spent playing word bingo....
  17. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Yes the passport photos, the red green and yellow spreadsheets we are all supposed to reflect and ruminate on.......Loved by ofsted....meaningless to anyone actually doing the teaching work.
    Shedman likes this.
  18. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Ex teacher did the insett guy use a PowerPoint to express his feelings about PowerPoint? I've insets where they've done exactly that. Lol

    Or the upgraded version of PowerPoint which is prezzi, beloved by aspiring deputy heads everywhere which is really the same thing but requires a lot more admin time at home naturally. The unaccounted for hours.
    Shedman likes this.
  19. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Back in the 90s our weekly staff meetings would regularly be cancelled or finished early. They were only held if there was genuine business to discuss. Now they are held as part of someone's career development/progression. Or, just to say "Look at me Mum".
  20. Ex-teacher

    Ex-teacher Occasional commenter

    It was that long ago that I can't remember....sorry! Couldn't even tell you what the inset was about... although I couldn't tell you what the last inset was about either!! I just remember the quote!
    Shedman likes this.

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