grade level meeting problems

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TeacherKay9, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. TeacherKay9

    TeacherKay9 Rookie

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    Aug 29, 2009

    I'm having problems getting my grade level to get anything done in grade level meetings. I'm chair and each meeting seems to get hijacked by one member. The grade level decided to have additional meetings each week to discuss integrating some of our lesson plans, yet when we meet all they do is complain about how often we meet. Some members are being very rude - spending all meetings on electronic devices etc and not paying attention when asked for input. I'm kinda at a loss at how to make the group more cohesive. Any ideas? Or should I just consider this year a wash and just do the best I can to get through?
     
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  3. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    Aug 29, 2009

    When I was grade level chair I would bring an agenda of 3 or 4 topics that need to get discussed. Sounds like you may already be doing this.

    I would also ask the instructional coach to come sit in on a meeting. You can present it as, "I've asked our instructional coach to sit in and share some ideas about integrating lesson plans," or whatever. That way it's not seen as you trying to regulate them, even though you are!
     
  4. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Aug 30, 2009

    You could also have the grade level create norms that everyone abides by. Put the norms on all your agendas.
     
  5. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Aug 30, 2009

    Can you not ask them to put the devices away?
     
  6. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    My thoughts exactly Molly.
    I would ask them not to have cellphones out during the meetings.
    As far as group participation, if its something they can plan before the meeting maybe you could send out the agenda a few days before. That way, they could plan what they wanted to say or contribute. No one would have an excuse not to participate.
     
  7. mstnteacherlady

    mstnteacherlady Cohort

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    Aug 30, 2009

    This is what we have done throughout the school. We created norms that covered cell phones, punctuality, and many things in between. Our grade level meetings change for the better when everyone took part in creating the norms as a team. I highly recommend setting norms among your grade level. Just make sure you do it as a grade level rather than by yourself. Everyone needs to have a part. Once it's been created by the team, (like someone else said) put them on the agenda before the meeting. Another thing that I do as grade level chair is send out the agenda the afternoon before or the morning of the meeting. When we meet, I begin by going over the agenda for the meeting and then we discuss what's there. If anyone has anything they need to discuss, it gets tacked on to the end unless it's a part of the meeting agenda. Giving each meeting a direct purpose gives everyone a focal point and helps us stay on top of it.
     
  8. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Aug 30, 2009

    A timed agenda did wonders for my meetings last year. Helped keep people focused and didn't make me look like a total jerk when I had to move on to another topic.

    Also, where's your admin in all of this?
     
  9. TeacherKay9

    TeacherKay9 Rookie

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    Aug 31, 2009

    great ideas

    Thanks for all the great ideas. Yeah, admin? Have only had one brief visit from one so far this year to a gl meeting - only for about 3 min to drop something off. I thought about requesting that one come sit in and not give it away that I asked them to. But I have a feeling (much like the misbehaving child who doesn't misbehave when a parent observes) that the group would be totally different with an admin there. But then I guess that would tell me something.

    The person who is on electronic devices is someone I already don't mesh with well. We did set norms for our meetings and no one addressed electronic devices. I feel like if I bring it up it's fussing at that one person. I don't think it would go over well. Don't know how to do that tactfully. Not sure where I've gone wrong...
     
  10. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Aug 31, 2009

    Why don't you ask the electronics person to take the notes during the meetings - a gentle redirection?
     
  11. Teechietech

    Teechietech Rookie

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    Sep 1, 2009

    I agree--bring an agenda to the meeting!

    TT
     
  12. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    Sep 1, 2009

    Our grade level meetings can get pretty heated at times but the other half of the grade brought it on themselves by saying they were better than everybody else. We have an administrator and instructional coach at every meeting along with our agendas. That way we atleast know what is going on.
     
  13. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    Wow.... I second (or third.. or whatever number we're on :) ) the agenda idea. I would also maybe have administration or someone else to come to the meeting. Our Principal and Assistant Principal come to all of our meetings. We also often have our literacy coaches there.
     
  14. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Sep 1, 2009

    I would recommend against asking te P to come for 2 reasons. First, even if everyone "behaves" it will create annimosity. Second (perhaps because our union is strong) I believe teachers should try to work things out among themselves whenever possible. We need each other's support. We don't need to "tattle" on each other. I would talk to the person about the electronics individually. I would bring up my concerns about what isn't working to the group. I would say something like, "Look, I know some of you are individualists and would rather not come to grade meetings, but I would like us to try focusing on what we can get done rather than on what isn't perfect." I'd also start having meetings with cooperative people who want to work on something together (like integrated lessons) from different grades. When you can get energy going in a group of teachers (especially if they are from different social circles in a school) you can really start to cause a culture shift. I've pretty much stopped working with people who don't want to cooperate. Today was our 1st day and I am already really excited about how Kagan cooperative learning is about to change our school because we have a critical mass on board.
     

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