Effective School Teams

Great teams do things extremely well!  I am excited about the 2014-15 school year.  On campus this year, I have implemented weekly grade level meetings.  We have always had grade level meetings but this year we are having them weekly instead of every other week.  I have a few new teachers in each grade level plus a new math program.  I snapped a few pictures of a meeting I attended on Friday morning.  Just fyi:  Our meetings are held before the bell rings each morning.  Class begins at 8:00 and our meetings begin at 7:30.  

Meetings are held in a classroom and facilitated by the grade level leaders.  The purpose of the meeting is to have colleagues plan and discuss instructional content.  As principal, I attend the meetings and I'm present to answer any questions or assist in any way.  These meetings are a great time for the grade level teams to collaborate and discuss.  Many teachers can feel isolated from their colleagues.  Building relationships and coming together regularly can help teachers feel bonded.

Whole staff meetings are rare during the school year.  It is actually unnecessary if we have strong teaching teams who meet regularly.  At this particular meeting, the teachers were discussing the math lessons from the week and what to expect in math this next week.  Teacher have their lesson plan template and binders and looked over the lessons for the upcoming week.  

It is critical for teachers to provide feedback and input about how things are going in their classroom.  That builds unity and it creates ownership within the school.  

Did you know if teachers meet regularly it yields an increase in student achievement?  We have seen an increase in student achievement because of the commitment teachers have by coming together and sharing strategies, best practices, and concerns.  Students will not succeed if faced with a  group of teachers who are disjointed, disconnected or dysfunctional.  

I can see the value of teamwork.  I love teachers coming together and having the opportunity to plan for student learning and solve problems together.  How does teaming look in your school?

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