Are you looking to lead a professional development meeting with colleagues? Are you feeling uncertain of how to structure the meeting or exactly what you should do? Take a nice, deep breath. We’ve got you covered.
The first step in facilitating a productive meeting is to establish a sound agenda. One easy way to do this is to use a spreadsheet application, such as Google Sheets. Using a digital format is helpful so everyone in the meeting can access it at the same time. In addition, it can store notes for future reference.
When setting up the structure for the agenda, four columns titled “Time,” “Topic,” “Description,” and “Notes” work well.
It is also helpful to add a different color to each column to differentiate between them.
As the facilitator, you don’t want to be the only one responsible for each part of the meeting. Your job is to guide the conversation and keep people focused on the topic at hand.
Before beginning the meeting, delegate the following roles:
Sharing the tasks allows you to better focus on generating the most vibrant and meaningful discussion possible.
Set a positive tone for the meeting by including a quick check-in question. Check-in questions can be as simple as a favorite movie, something not many people know about you, or one positive student interaction you had this week. Three minutes is plenty of time for a check-in question.
When you facilitate a meeting, you want to save as much time as possible. Making sure you look over the flow of your material and review all accompanying sheets, emails, and documents that will be discussed is important. Inserting links to other spreadsheets, documents, or resources you will expect your team to review together can save time and help keep the momentum going. If you are having colleagues share a best practice or engage in a protocol, be prepared to go first as an example.
I always appreciate reviewing the agenda of a meeting before the meeting starts. Share the agenda with your colleagues and ask them if there is anything to add. Usually sending the agenda out the day before or the morning of a meeting is sufficient. Our colleagues can often remind us of topics critical to our meeting that were overlooked. Be sure to give staff a chance to chime in beforehand and they may feel more invested in the meeting.
Artist educators are stepping into leadership roles more frequently. Regardless of whether we are leading meetings with other art teachers, other staff, or other adults in general, having a sound structure is essential. Delegating tasks to others in the meeting helps us facilitate, and sharing the agenda with our group in advance can strengthen content and investment. Now is the time. Let’s lead.
What types of structures or styles do you incorporate into PD or staff meetings?
What questions do you have about leading a meeting with a group of colleagues?