Each week, Instant Meeting presents an idea or activity that you might use to make staff meetings more interesting, teacher-centered, educational, or fun.
This meeting activity is a powerful reminder for all involved about why they became educators in the first place. A perfect activity for mid-year or the end of the school year.
A full meeting session (approximately 1 hour)
"Instant Meeting" Idea
Teachers enter the classroom with plans to connect with every child, and they often do; but there are always students with whom teachers form more special bonds. That student might be the troubled student, the student who stands out in or away from the crowd, the student who rises about a horrible family situation
In this powerful activity, each teacher stands and tells the story of one student with whom he or she has a special connection. Teachers begin their stories with the words "I stand for [insert Name of Student] because" The reasons for standing for a particular student can be personal and touching and often compelling. A teacher might stand for a student because they share a special connection based on a specific skill, personality trait, or a special need. Or a teacher might stand for a student because the student has no one else in her life who might help her see the possibilities; because the child is an outcast among his peers; because the child is gifted but needs a great deal of support to direct his talents in constructive ways
By "standing for the child," the teacher is saying that he or she hopes to make a special difference -- to be as positive an influence as possible -- in that child's near future.
To see the full power of this activity, read the Education World article, Staff Meeting Idea: Teachers "Stand" for Students.
The "I Stand for" activity can work at any point in the school year, but it seems a perfect exercise for the middle of a school year. At that point, teachers know their students well enough to know the real issues they face. They also have time -- another half a school year -- in which to use whatever influence they might have to make the balance that child's year special or meaningful. The child doesn't know that the teacher is "standing" for him or her. This activity is simply a means for teachers to share with their peers the story of one special connection.
The activity is also a powerful one for use at the end of the school year. At that time, teachers can share the stories of the children they see in special ways with the teachers who will have those students the following year. By sharing the stories of those students, next year's teachers have a heads-up about a unique opportunity to understand and make a difference in the life of a student whose life they might not otherwise touch.
Staff Meeting Idea: Teachers "Stand" for Students (EducationWorld.com -- August 30, 2005)
This activity could become a school tradition, though it is probably most powerful when not overdone.