Eek! I got my first email to firstname.lastname@example.org today asking for advice. Is it weird that it feels a bit like Christmas?
So, apparently some people out there think my advice is worth asking for. Hopefully they’re not just as crazy as me.
My principal forces the entire staff to sit through weekly staff meetings. They are not required by the district, but she seems to think they help build a better community. Got any advice on how to get through these without ripping my hair out?
Ok, Elaine (if that is your real name) I can definitely give you my two cents on this one. We have all been required to sit through awful (and I mean, just awful) meetings that do us little to no good. I have a couple of tricks in my back pocket for just such an occasion.
Boredom Buster #1: Idiosyncrasy Bingo
This one takes a bit of preparation but is so much fun. Get together with a few colleagues and list a few mannerisms (coughing unnecessarily, gesturing wildly, saying ‘um’ or ‘you know?’) of the main speaker (in your case, your principal). Put those mannerisms on bingo cards and when she does them, mark your card. Just don’t actually yell ‘bingo.’
Boredom Buster #2: Pretend to take notes, and actually just doodle
We sometimes forget the zen that doodling can bring. Draw funny pictures of your students doing things that are stupid. You should have plenty of ideas there…
Boredom Buster #3: Write a letter to a fellow teacher
This is the adult version of passing notes in class. The difference? You don’t actually pass them. Just write a full letter (full of wit and sarcasm, obviously) and hang on to it until it is safe to pass it along. It is fun to keep these letters in a folder or something to look back and laugh. Or for blackmail.
Boredom Buster #4: Be the obnoxious question asker
Ok, so don’t actually do this one, but I have noticed that the people that keep the meetings nice and long by asking inane questions all the time actually seem to enjoy themselves. Maybe they’re on to something. Or, maybe they’re just awful, awful people.
Boredom Buster #5: Grade papers
If your principal is not one to ask for feedback from their audience, and they actually don’t care if you pay full attention at meetings, get a little grading out of the way. I mean, come on. Everyone’s doing it!
Whatever you do, just don’t give in to frustration. It’s so tempting, but just don’t do it. You will feel like a stronger person in the end.
As a reward for getting through this week’s meeting, here is a Taylor Swift video (with a hilarious twist).
Clearly I’m on a kick here…