After a day of teaching the bundles of energy that are elementary school students, few teachers really look forward to sitting in a staff meeting. Starting meetings with activities can help you as a principal in a variety of ways. Your teachers get to have some fun, learn some new activities for the classroom and, as they laugh or work together, bond in new ways.
Kids Say the Darndest Things
Have each teacher write down one or more amusing quotes that he has heard recently in school. Collect the quotes and pull some out to read aloud for the amusement of the staff members. Teachers can use this activity in the classroom by reading aloud funny quotes, then giving them to the students with the assignment to write a story or draw a picture that either starts just after the quote or leads up to it.
What Do You Know?
Have teachers get into teams of four, and give each team a piece of paper with a meeting topic, such as "Ways to Get Families Involved in School" and a humorous topic, such as "Excuses for Homework Not Getting Done." Give the teams four minutes to fill out the paper, then go around the room and have the groups each share an answer until all answers have been given, noting what information was not mentioned. This activity can be used in the classroom to review various subjects from the year or as a light-hearted competition.
Have teachers bring an item from their classrooms, encouraging out-of-the-ordinary choices. Put the items in a large box or hide them under a table behind a tablecloth. Have two pairs of teachers come up at a time, with each pair pulling an item from the box. Give the pairs 30 seconds to confer, then have them alternate showing the audience creative ways to use the items other than their intended uses. Do not require teachers to participate, but do use the activity to remind teachers that students have different strengths and areas where they are comfortable.
Take five or 10 minutes at the beginning of the meeting to have someone teach the teachers something entertaining and not necessarily school related. There are many things that take a relatively short time to show the basics of, such as how to make sushi, some dance steps, how to juggle or how to fold origami. Ask your teachers if they have any hidden talents or skills that they are willing to share, or if there is anything that they would like to learn. Teachers can use similar activities in their classrooms.
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