Sunday, August 24, 2008

Teachers guide to conducting meetings at school

Ours is a democratic set up where constant interaction with people is necessary. School meetings for teachers is necessary. The management, teachers and parents are all part of the educational framework and obviously, at some point of time teachers would be interfacing with them over some issue or the other. As such a teacher must be equipped to set the agenda, prepare, conduct and file minutes of meetings, whenever called upon.

Preparing for the meeting
Nothing in this world has ever been achieved without careful preparation. The purpose of the meeting should be outlined, and the agenda set. The purpose, date and time should be put down on a notice, to be sent to parents, fellow teachers or the student body. The venue, capacity of the hall and facilities available must be checked. Tea or snacks required should be ordered well in advance. Sufficient time should be given and, if possible, all invitees must be spoken to and participation confirmed, lest you be facing empty chairs on the day of the meeting. Notes, minutes of the previous meeting, report cards or other material should be at hand during the meeting.

After opening the meeting, you should briefly read the minutes of the last meeting, and later set the agenda for the current one. This done you should invite the chairman to take over the proceedings. All important resolutions, policy decisions and financial implications must be recorded and verified in the end. Every subject taken up for discussion must be forwarded by someone and seconded by another, before being debated and discussed at the meeting.

If voting needs to be undertaken, it can be done in three ways:
1. Standing voting, where members stand up for yeses and nos and be counted.
2. Recorded voting, where each member’s consent or dissent is noted individually.
3. Secret ballot, where voting slips are supplied and members drop them into a ballot box.

Recording the minutes
Either you or a deputy should record key aspects of the meeting. Apart from the date, place, time, purpose and names of the presiding offices and the panel, all subjects discussed and resolutions passed should be recorded. At the end of the meeting it should be read out and confirmed once again. At the end of the meeting, you should briefly cover subjects discussed and agreements made, thank all members for co-operating before closing the meeting.

1. There will always be dissenting voices at every meeting.
2. Be tactful in handling an explosive situation.
3. Give chance to everyone who has an opinion, whenever possible.
4. Be diplomatic in cutting short talkative members.
5. Keep it short and lively to sustain member’s interests.

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