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 6: Learning the Ways Groups Talk
Learning the Ways Groups Talk
In the best of schools, leaders focus collaborative efforts on student learning. With that thought in mind, a high-performing suburban district recently decided that teachers would work for one afternoon twice each month in professional learning teams. The administration announced to the community that all students would be dismissed two hours early on designated Wednesdays, an unpopular move with parents. Teams of teachers got together at the specified times, working in grade-level or subject-area groups. However, teachers were given no orientation for how to talk with one another or focus their conversations.
Seven months later, when I was contacted, many teams were struggling. When I visited first at the school, many teachers couldn't explain any outcomes of ...