Weekly School-Wide Assemblies

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by cheeryteacher, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Mar 7, 2019

    I am interested in incorporating a weekly school-wide assembly at my school. I used to work in a school that had Monday Meetings, and I thought it was a great way to bring the school together, discuss issues, and celebrate successes. Do any of you work at a school that incorporates weekly school wide meetings? What do you do at your meetings? What is your take on them?
     
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I would avoid this idea, unless you want a bunch of resentful teachers.
     
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  4. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    I don't want that, lol. I transferred to the school that did the weekly assemblies and it was just a part of the culture and the teachers were fine. I don't know anything about how they came to be and if there was any push back when they were initially started.
     
  5. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    We don't have a space large enough for our entire student body.
     
  6. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I think it's a lovely idea if you can get staff buy in and it's done in an organized fashion.
     
  7. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    I’m personally not a fan. Especially if it’s a meeting for meeting sake and you don’t have anything really meaningful to share or discuss. I have one every 6 weeks or so and that’s a perfect amount for me. I enjoy those assemblies.
     
  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    If you have specific topics to cover then maybe once per quarter? I wouldn't have an assembly just to have an assembly.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I love the ideas of including student voice when discussing issues and it's important to celebrate successes, but my worry would be that weekly could be overkill. Is there need to do this weekly or would less frequently be effective? How long would they be? How old are the students? How would this be scheduled so that academics aren't suffering? At my previous school, we had monthly assemblies, and that sometimes felt like a disruption.

    We have over 700 students in my school, and the logistics of getting everyone loaded into and out of the gym for an assembly adds at least 20 minutes to the length of the assembly--a 25 minute assembly can easily have us out of the classroom for 45 minutes.
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Mar 9, 2019

    Could your school rotate having grade-level assemblies for these kinds of things, and then a BIG gathering for the end of each quarter? That might be feasible.
     
  11. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Our school does a monthly meeting one Friday a month. They split up into two groups and do a primary assembly and intermediate assembly. Our special area team arranges the assemblies and usually plans for a guest speaker of some kind, usually focused on some kind of character education. Last year they tried to do every 2 weeks and it was too much, every teacher complained
     
  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    :yeahthat:

    Having weekly assemblies is unnecessary and would waste a ton of instructional time.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 10, 2019

    Seems that weekly would be an incredible waste of instructional time.
     
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  14. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    I had them when I was in elementary school every Monday morning. I think it was ok because the kids stay with the same teacher all day, but again, it is a lot of time lost.

    I would hate it for middle school. If we have an assembly, they don't change the schedule, so they just skip the missed class. I like to have my classes on the same general pace, so it would be a waste of instructional time.
     
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  15. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Mar 11, 2019

    The elementary school I was at that did them did it every Monday. The meetings were 15-20 minutes TOPS (I know because I had prep right after). There was always a PBIS focus, weekly celebrations/competitions for classroom and cafeteria cleanliness, AR points, etc. The principal would sometimes read books and everyone would participate in a school-wide turn and talk or some other educational activity. One assembly each month was devoted to Student of the Month and families were invited.

    The school was a National Blue Ribbon School and National Distinguished Title I school while I was there, so academics were very important. Pretty much everything at this school ran like a fine tuned machine, even to the point of getting 600 K-5 students in the gym, situated, and presentations started in under 5 minutes. Everything done at this school was about moving the school forward, and I saw the weekly assemblies as an important cultural piece that really brought the school together and made sure everyone was on the same page.
     
  16. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    This was my vision when saying it could be a good idea. What a neat thing for your previous school to do.
     
  17. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    It really was a good experience... however I can see this being a year 3 or 4 initiative, not year one as being a principal. Buy in from the staff is important!
     
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  18. TeacherNY

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    The problem is, even if the actual program is only 15 minutes, there's still a lot of wasted time lining up for the assembly, all the classes walking there, getting settled and then leaving the assembly site to go back to class then getting settled back in their seats. It would make more sense having a longer assembly once every few months.
     
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  19. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    By default, teaching is a profession where there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. In addition, the only two times for meetings tend to be before school or after school. Before school is often the time teachers really want to make sure everything is prepared. After school, teachers are tired and some need to leave to beat the traffic of the long commutes they have home. Also, I have had meetings on all 5 days of the week. My least favorite day for meetings was Monday. It tended to hurt morale. Mondays tend to be...Mondays...often the most difficult day of the week. A meeting after school, made it more difficult to be prepared for the rest of the week.

    I do think your goals are positive ones, and can be done in a better way. To celebrate successes, take time and write a simple note to several teachers each week on things that you notice. Put some treats in the lounge or a positive note and leave it on the table on how you appreciate the staff.

    I find it interesting that in 25+ years of teaching that the most positive group of teachers I ever worked with was the year we had faculty meetings less than once a month. Those meetings were for an average of less than 20 minutes. Valuing teachers' time is the foundation to a good school environment.
     
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  20. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Absolutely and I couldn’t agree with you more!

    Here is the math of the actual time WASTED that could be you used for instructional time:

    If the program is 15-20 minutes tops, then let’s use the midpoint or average of this interval, which is 17.5 minutes. And let’s say it takes 5 minutes to get everyone lined up, to walk to the wherever, and to get situated. Now, an academic year is generally 180 days of instruction or ~25.714 weeks, so that’s (22.5min/week)*((25.714 weeks/academic year) or 578.57 minutes lost. When converted to 50-minute periods (a typical class length in my area), that comes out to ~11.57 periods missed of instructional time. That’s WAY too much. I mean, just imagine missing almost 12 math classes or 12 English classes or 12 science classes every year.
     

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