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Meeting A Middle School Principal’s Need For Professional Development: A Case Study

Meeting A Middle School Principal’s Need For Professional Development: A Case Study

Dakota serves as the principal of a middle school, overseeing about 20 educators. She, along with the vice principal, Alan, had been discussing the need for more professional development, noting a few concerns that need to be addressed.

One of Dakota’s biggest priorities in her role is to foster a strong, connected, and motivated team, which needs consistent dedication by her and Alan to accomplish. She understands that if her teachers are not working smoothly as a team and are not well equipped with pertinent knowledge and a strong set of skills, her school and students will struggle.

The Challenge of Morale and Parent Relations

The biggest need for Dakota’s team was boosting morale. The teachers at her school consistently communicate with students and coworkers, practice incredible patience, work hard to maintain discipline, and often put others’ needs before their own. Because of the stress and demands of their jobs, the teachers have been struggling with low morale. During meetings and one-on-one conversations, the low energy and lack of confidence is palpable. The teachers hold themselves to high standards and battle impending burnout.

Some other prominent issues that Dakota and Alan would like to address are interpersonal dynamics, conflict resolution, and crisis management.

Relationships with students’ parents are crucial to the school and its success. Teachers’ ability to communicate and collaborate with parents determines the success of students and the resolution of conflicts. Learning how to better communicate and work with parents could also help staff lean on each other, learn from each other, and lend expertise and help when needed.

Tools to help teachers with crisis management would be a great addition to the meeting as giving support and following protocols in times of crisis are ongoing concerns for Dakota, Alan, and teachers.

Why GettaMeeting? 

Teachers’ time and resources are limited and so are principals’, therefore, Dakota and Alan needed to choose a form of professional development that would take very little time to prepare for yet make a big and lasting impact in a short amount of time.

Although the staff of the middle school would benefit from a handful of GettaMeeting’s modules, Dakota and Alan decided on the “Strengthen Skills: Play Ball “module from the Team Building Series. Because of its focus on professional development’s impact on teams and its content about managing difficult situations and becoming good collaborators, the module felt like the perfect fit. 

The theme of the module was also a compelling factor. Alan stated that “myself and many of [the] teachers have an interest in baseball or softball… the theme made the decision easier when we were deciding which module to purchase.”

The Process: How The “Strengthen Skills: Play Ball” Module Was Used

Preparation

Alan, who took care of the prep work for the meeting, wanted to make the meeting as engaging, fun, and memorable as possible. He wanted the teachers to truly appreciate the meeting and make the most out of their valuable time.

He simply downloaded the module (which included the video, Word Cloud, and Enhancements PDF). He immediately printed about 20 word clouds for all of the teachers. Along with the word cloud, he printed copies of the book recommendations, book club questions, and inspirational quotes from the Enhancements PDF. He created packets of the four pages which he would set at each seat of the conference table the day of the meeting, which was less than a week away.

Alan liked the format of the Enhancement PDF as he “appreciated the ability to download and send digital copies of the meeting enhancements to the team but enjoyed the option to print physical copies for the teachers to keep them engaged and hands-on during and after the meeting.”

Alan then used the Enhancements PDF to purchase the recommended notepads and baseball bat pens online for each teacher to use during the meeting. The teachers would be able to take the items home or to their classrooms to help them remember the lessons from the meeting.

Next, he chose two of the team-building games from the Enhancement PDFs and ordered the few supplies and prizes needed for the games.

Lastly, Alan quickly put together a playlist on Spotify from the recommended songs from the Enhancement PDF. He was ready to play the playlist as the participants entered the conference room, during breaks in the video, during the team-building games, and as teachers left the meeting.

Within a few hours, Alan had completely prepared for the meeting and familiarized Dakota with the material as she would be leading the meeting.

Facilitation

The day of the meeting went smoothly as Alan spent a few minutes setting out the meeting materials, pulling up the Spotify playlist on the computer, and getting ready to play the video.

Dakota led the meeting, starting with a quick introduction and explanation of the meeting materials, followed by the video. After the video ended, the team participated in the two team-building games and closed the meeting with a quick discussion about how the team felt about the meeting. In total, the meeting took about an hour and a half. 

The teachers expressed their favorite parts of the meeting and the most valuable content they learned. They discovered how to approach crisis management with a heightened sense of situational awareness and how to prepare for any circumstance. They learned to “cover all of their bases” through collaboration, communication, and clarification. The importance of strengthening skills and learning best practices stuck with the team. Morale was boosted due to topics like knowing our impact, positive thinking, and positive teamwork. The teachers left the meeting feeling like they had more tools in their toolkits and greater confidence in themselves. The team also felt more prepared to tackle difficult conversations with their students' parents and navigate compromise.

Dakota and Alan discussed the effectiveness of the meeting afterward. They gushed over how well it went, how smoothly it ran, and how impactful it was for their team.

Dakota concluded her thoughts on GettaMeeting’s module:

“I was shocked at what a difference the module made to our meeting and our team’s morale. I was impressed with how much we accomplished with so little time and energy - taking the prep work out of the meeting made all the difference for Alan and me. Not only were we impressed, but [the] teachers were praising the meeting and how impactful it was compared to our regular meetings. I’m just so happy and relieved that we were able to host such a good meeting that exceeded all of our expectations. GettaMeeting rocks!”

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If you want to experience similar results, discover our many meeting modules at gettameeting.com.


Need help choosing modules for your team? Read our article or contact us at customercare@gettameeting.com.

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