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Future News

Each week, Instant Meeting presents an idea or activity that you might use to make staff meetings more interesting, teacher-centered, educational, or fun.

Brief Description/Purpose

Help your group describe and build enthusiasm for the future.

Materials Needed

The primary tools for this meeting idea include flip chart paper and markers. If it is a large group, they participants might start out working in smaller groups that will need paper and pens or flipcharts and pens for their own use.

Time Required

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Be sure to see our Instant Meetings Archive for additional ideas.

And don't miss our Great Meeting series. Dee Kelsey and Pam Plumb offer a short course on creating meetings that work, based on their popular guide, Great Meetings. They present ideas to help you learn how to lead meetings that generate ideas; analyze problems; define a vision; evaluate ideas and make decisions; plan for long-range needs; encourage group participation and keep groups on track; and much more.

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The exercise can be done in 30-60 minutes depending of the size of the group and the complexity of the issue. If the group wants to continue on to actually draft the article, then a team of two people might draft an article between meetings and circulate it to everyone before the next meeting.

"Instant Meeting" Idea

Often groups get bogged down in the problems of the present and have trouble envisioning their desired future. It is hard to have much energy when your head is down in the problems. This tool can help define the desired vision, generate enthusiasm, and provide some inspiration.

For example, your school has been struggling with some past negative incidents and you want to rebuild your relationships with the parents' association and the community at large. But the group of teachers and administrators working on the issue is still bogged down in rehashing the old history. They are having trouble picturing a new, positive relationship with the community, so you ask meeting participants to picture the school and community two years into the future. Everything is working smoothly; the school and community are working beautifully together and accomplishing great things for the kids.

"A reporter from the local newspaper or TV station has done a feature article on what is happening. What does that article say? What are the key ideas that it conveys? What activities does it report on? What kind of vocabulary does the report use in describing the school or community work?"

Ask the group to work in small groups to generate ideas. Then collect those ideas on the flip chart paper and look for agreement on the key themes, ideas, and vocabulary.

Next, ask participants to return to their small groups to create a headline for the article or TV program. Again, bring those ideas together and look for agreement on the headline that best captures the article.

To complete the exercise, ask a team of 2-3 people to work on actually drafting an article to share with the group at the next meeting. Once the group is excited about a common, positive future, it will be easier to come up with ideas about how to get there.

This idea was submitted by Dee Kelsey and Pam Plumb, authors of Great Meetings, Great Results! Be sure to visit the Great Meetings Web site to learn more about Dee and Pam, their book, workshops, and other products and services.