How great groups make great schools
Training leaders how to conduct effective meetings is important, but it's not enough to ensure that the professional development process is valuable. This field book shows educators how to develop group culture, enhance facilitators' skills, and optimize the group's most precious resource—its members. The authors describe how to form working committees, task forces, grade-level, and department teams, and faculties that are more effective and better equipped to resolve complex issues around student learning. Specific topics include
Understanding eight principles that underlie effective groups; Learning the five standards for effective meetings; Setting clear goals and roles; Practicing new ways of talking for improved collaboration; Examining perceptions and mental models; Enhancing energy sources; Working with conflict; Developing basic facilitation skills
This practical guide's special features include the newly updated seven norms of collaboration, a sample team assessment survey, instruments for assessing meeting effectiveness, an extensive bibliography, and practical examples embedded throughout the text. Practitioners will find a valuable road map for leading effective, student-focused school improvement efforts.
Chapter 1: Building Effective Groups
Building Effective Groups
Meetings are becoming teachers’ work. Evidence increasingly shows that collaborative cultures lead to higher student achievement (Hoy, Tarter, & Hoy, 2006; Louis, Marks, & Kruse, 1996). Effective and time-efficient meetings have obvious benefits. Well-organized meetings result in groups that produce work important to students; in addition, they promote members’ satisfaction and capacity to collaborate, and therefore their willingness to conscientiously contribute. The more groups succeed in getting important work done in meetings, the greater their sense of collective efficacy, a resource undeniably linked to student success (Hoy et al., 2006). Finally, members of successful groups ultimately become members and leaders elsewhere in the system and enrich the quality of work within the school and district.
It is in meetings that teachers ...