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Classful

The faculty meeting is necessary for running a school and ensuring all teachers are in the loop regarding changes, problems, and accomplishments.

The faculty meeting is also one of many tired teachers’ more unwelcome administrative tasks. You have enough on your plate with an overcrowded class that’s restless after a long day, and now you have to sit in a meeting to discuss the same things you did last week.

Most teachers have the same thoughts in faculty meetings at one point or another. Instead of dreading the meeting, channel those thoughts into strategies for connecting with your students and increasing your ability to get through to those who may not be doing as much as they’re capable of in the classroom.

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1. Food. Why is there no food?

If you’re looking for something to snack on during the meeting, ask yourself why you’re trying to eat. Chances are that, no matter what your answer is, there are at least a few students in your class going through the same thing when they get restless or try to sneak a few cookies out of their lunch bags.

  • Are you munching on chips because you’re bored?
  • What would you tell a student who started doing that during class?
  • Would you want someone to tell you the same thing?

2. What email? What flyer? What?

Everyone attends a meeting unprepared at one time or another. And if you show up without reading the latest email or without a laptop or specific paperwork, you’ve likely gotten the look from other teachers.

Remember that look when your students forget their textbooks or other supplies — if you don’t want to receive them, neither do your students. If someone keeps forgetting, that’s a sign to ask them what’s going on and to help them find ways to remember to bring the items.

3. Who are *you* to tell me what to do, child?

  • Are you an older teacher?
  • Are some very young-looking people, supposedly teachers and administrators, starting at your school this year?
  • Do you have a visceral reaction to someone so young telling you what to do because you are sure you know better?

Your students react similarly to someone older than them, telling them what to do. In kids’ eyes, they know all and have all the answers compared to us older fuddy-duddies (maybe not in that antagonistic a phrase, but it’s a feature of childhood and the teen years to think they know everything that square adults don’t get).

This is your chance to think of ways to change your language to show students that you’re still in charge, but you get that a generational difference could affect perceptions.

4. I hope that a great seat is open when I get there

You want to sit with your friends. The same goes for your students. You may see that as a distraction, with groups of friends creating disturbances and paying more attention to themselves than the lesson. And you should separate groups that are creating problems for the class. But think about why you want to sit with your friends.

Is it the support you get from them?

If your students are banding together for mutual support, you need to find a way to make the students still feel supported when they’ve been separated from their friend group. In the end, students are human and have motivations similar to yours. Use your restless moments to understand better how your students think and feel.

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