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Keeping Fresh Ideas Alive

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

Teachers leave professional development meetings charged up about new ideas. A few weeks later, they've lost the motivation. This simple idea will help keep fresh ideas alive.

Materials Needed

  • a postcard or a stamped envelope and a sheet of paper, one per participant

Time Required

More Ideas for
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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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Five minutes at the end of a professional development session

"Instant Meeting" Idea

Teachers often leave professional development workshops all charged up about new ideas and strategies. Then they get back to their classrooms, where implementing new ideas is not always easy. Without follow-up or additional mentoring, they often fall back into the tried-and-true patterns that work for them. This activity might help to re-ignite that fire they felt at the end of that motivating workshop day

At the end of a professional development workshop, present teachers with a stamped envelope or postcard. Invite workshop participants to address a card or envelope to themselves. On the card, or on a sheet of paper to be stuffed in the envelope, ask meeting participant to list three things they learned in that day's workshop that they don't want to forget. Those three things should be ideas or activities that motivated them and that they plan to use or implement in their teaching/classrooms.

Some weeks or months after the workshop, the workshop facilitator will mail to each participant his or her list of "three ideas I don't want to forget" from that day. The purpose of that follow-up mailing is to remind teachers of the day of the workshop and the excitement they felt. If the teacher has not made much progress toward using the ideas learned that day, maybe now, some weeks or months later, she or he will be more prepared to take on the challenge.


The follow-up is built into this activity. It occurs when the letter or postcard arrives in the teacher’s mailbox.