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Teachers Learn Together
In the 'Think Tank'

Last year we implemented "Think Tanks," voluntary staff meetings where we brainstorm on topics relevant to current issues on our campus. The Think Tank strategy recognizes that we have a terrific staff and that we can all become better teachers by learning from the teachers next door to us. Together, we have all the pieces we need to help our students be successful, a fact that is highlighted in our Think Tank logo (above). In our Think Tank we have tackled such issues as

  • ways to recognize/celebrate our students;
  • improving school-wide discipline;
  • revising and updating safety procedures; and
  • sharing best practices classroom instructional strategies
  • just to name a few.

    This informal way of meeting has brought some very powerful changes to our campus. Our Think Tank has grown to include nearly our entire staff. It empowers teachers to share their ideas and allows us to debate in a non-threatening environment. The approach has really helped us create a collaborative team on our campus.

    We promoted out Think Tank meetings by emphasizing the goals of school-wide inquiry, collaboration, group study, and shared best practices. The Think Tank meets once each month in the library. Attendance is optional, and dates and times vary. Of course, we always have great treats to help bring people in the door.

    Susan Denton, principal, Centennial Elementary School, Bakersfield, California


    Send Us Your Favorite Tool


    Looking to nail your next meeting with a good idea? Tighten up staff relations? Hammer out some great test scores? Construct a fun reward or event? Ratchet up your team building skills?

    Just drill into our toolbox for all the tools you need -- like the one above submitted by a school leader just like you.

    If you find the tools in our Principal's Toolbox to be of value, we hope you will be willing to contribute your favorite tool. Just email a clear photo of the "tool" along with a brief description and your name, school name, and location to [email protected].