Energizing Your Back to School Meetings

Summer of 2014:

(To view last year's materials or presenters' contact information, please scroll to the bottom of this page.)

Quick Introductions

Who is in the room?


Working in teams to reflect and move forward:
  • Celebrate
  • Data
  • Goals
  • Support

Handout-Sized template

Poster-sized template
This, That and Those

Forced Choice Activity...Good Icebreaker or a meaningful activity when it is time for some physical movement

This, That and Those Instructions

This, That and Those Examples
Working with the new State Board of Education Strategic Plan and/or your district/school strategic plan

Aligning what we do daily with state and local goals

Use a different color of paper for each Strategic Plan (state, district, school). Cut these into strips and make envelope-sets for each group of 4 - 5 people.

State Board of Education's Strategic Plan
Decision Making/Leadership Activity

Explores types of decision making...interactive

  • Prompt
  • Think time
  • 1, 2, 3 "vote"

Alternate ideas:
  • Rubric numbers (student work)
  • Yes/No (Is this an office referral?)

Decision Making Matrix

Decision Making Scenarios

Decision Making Cards
Video clips as discussion starters

Use a brief clip as a discussion-starter.

Ted Talks education playlist
(We especially like Angela Duckworth's GRIT video and "Three Rules to Spark Learning")

Alfred Williams story: Never too old to learn

John Maxwell "21 Laws of Leadership" series
Consider a Guest Speaker

Who might come say a powerful 15 minute "thank you" to your folks?
  • A recent graduate?
  • A famous alumnus?
  • A drop-out who came back?
  • A community business partner?
  • Who is that special someone?

Sharing your system's identity through an alumni video

Using the faces of folks who graduated from your school or district, share who you are through video.

For an idea, look at the UNC video I am a Tar Heel

See Newton Conover's version
What did social media say about you?

Search your school or district's Twitter/Instagram hashtag or pull screen shots from your FaceBook page to share the smiles and good things said about your school/district.

Furman University does a great job with this on an on-going basis using Storify
Don't forget the meeting ideas we shared last year! See below...

And a few others if we have time...

Remember Consultant Shift? The Human Bar Graph? Speed Dating? And more...

Nonverbals - The Birthday Line Challenge

PLC Characteristics

Summer of 2013:

Quick Introductions

Who is in the room?

Human Bar Graph

Is data more than numbers? Revisit reform, reaction to change, etc.
Good for getting folks talking, focusing and reflecting.

North, East, South, West

An exercise in understanding the perspectives of those
on your work team. Great for departments, grade levels, PLCs, and even entire staff groups.

From the National School Reform Faculty.

Protocols linked here walk you through setting up and processing the activity.
Video clips as discussion starters

Share one of these commercials or video clips as a conversation starter. The power is not in the clip itself, but in the discussion following the clip. Plan your processing questions in advance.

"Speed Dating"

Quick conversations around the topic, quote, or document of your choice. Each participant has a slip of paper and they have 90 seconds to share their reactions as a duo (based on a prompt, see directions at the right) before moving on to another person. Some ideas:
  • Goals or objects from your Strategic Plan
  • Scenarios that draw on your Safety Plan, Communication Plan, or any other plan
  • Phrases from your mission, vision and values statements
  • Quotes on any topic. (See leadership quotes linked on the right) Change might be a good topic for this activity.

Consultant Shift

Allows participants to pose a problem of practice and get a myriad of possible solutions from colleagues. Allows everyone in the room to be a leader, and also acknowledges that we all face problems and can benefit from collective expertise.

Other ideas:

Contact Information for Presenters:

Dr. Michael Hickman
Regional Lead Coordinator
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

Ms. Jan King
Regional Lead, regions 7 & 8
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction