Have you ever met an ECE teacher who entered the profession because they love staff meetings so much?
It's unlikely since most of us are driven by things that we find more inspiring - children, learning, joy and wonder. Yet, we all have careers littered with staff meetings, because whether we enjoy them or not, they serve a purpose, and are part of what we do.
Do you enjoy or endure your meetings?
Rather than traipsing to yet another meeting that makes your eyes glaze over, we want to inspire you to be more inspired!
We know that meetings can be more than just a to do list! We put in the hard yards and transformed our own meetings into inspiring meetings that are enjoyed, rather than endured.
We moved to meetings where we discussed actual ideas and possibilities, not just for the children, but also for the teachers. Meetings can be so much more than just a run down of schedules. They can be a rich source of teacher growth and team connection.
Transformed staff meetings
We started with setting a beautiful scene, bringing out our 'special occasion' tableware, bringing in nature's treasures as decor, and using beautiful words and music to uplift us, and keep our passion for teaching ignited.
Gone were the dull meetings on cluttered tables of broken materials, missing puzzle pieces, untouched mail and a never ending pile of paperwork.
We nourished our body, our mind and our spirit, and in the process learned about communicating, and facilitating.
We used our meetings to hold a magnifying glass up to our practice and ensure it truly aligns with our beliefs. We changed our meetings from focusing solely on the ‘head’, to including also the ‘heart’ of our teaching.
Heart meetings gel the team and keep it buzzing
Just having a group of people in a room is not enough. If this was the key to great meetings we would all have years of positive meeting stories to tell and our guess is that you probably don't.
Being with the children is likely what inspires us all most.
However, meetings are a reality in our work, and we not only can, but should, take the opportunity to make them better.
Your own learning and development is important too, and meetings, when done well, are an amazing vehicle for learning from discussion, reflection, new insights and perspectives.
We discovered we could alternate procedural 'head focused' meetings with more inspirational 'heart focused' meetings which fed our spirits and helped us grow.
Make your meetings more than informational. Make them inspirational!
Having made this journey we decided to share it, to show others what is possible and offer some guidance on taking those first steps.
We haven't written a 'step by step' recipe to follow, your journey will differ and fit in with your identity.
What we have done though is prepare a beautiful toolkit of food for thought, a smorgasbord of ideas, and lots of inspiration - from our hearts, to yours.