The Conversation We Need To Have With Leadership

This post is part of Scott McLeod’s Leadership Day 2014

Mission: Value Your Time

This year, many of us will spend hours in school meetings feeling demotivated, bored, unappreciated, and stressed. We will spend a lot of time resenting our colleagues and our administrators, which will impact our teaching and our students’ success. It doesn’t have to be this way. You deserve to have your time valued, because you are on a grand mission to help the world learn. We need you inspired! Unfortunately, many of our administrators do not know how to value your time or support you. Therefore, I’m sending you on a mission to have a conversation with your leadership about changing how meetings are organized at your school. By having this one positive conversation with your leadership, you can possibly avoid wasting hours attending ineffective meetings. You will also do your school, staff, and students a tremendous amount of good, since meetings will focus on collaboration with peers to problem solve issues.

Via George Couros,

Conversations That Inspire Change

This is an important conversation and we want our leadership to listen. This means you should approach leadership with appreciation for taking the time to consider your ideas, show them real examples of how you want to transform the meetings, and present the benefits of trying your idea. You need to also do this quite quickly in the first 5 to 10 minutes of the conversation. Think of this as your TEDTalk to your leadership. Go in with a set plan, show an example provided by your Personal/ Professional/ Passionate Learning Network (PLNs) and inspire your leadership to try it out for at least one meeting. You might even offer to help organize that meeting to save your leadership time. This means you may have to coordinate with another staff member you possibly might not get along with and you might be given some guidelines that thwart your initial plans, but you can make it work. You might want to try giving your spiel to one of our incredible connected principals who could help you make a better impact with your leadership. Find a list of their blogs and Twitter handle on Cybraryman’s Administrator Page. Remember this will save you hours of boredom and stress and enhance your school atmosphere considerably.

Inspiring Professional Development

In order to be effective you need to walk in with an alternative that works for your setting. Find many ideas in our June 29th #Edchat, where many teachers gathered to discuss ways to improve faculty and department meetings. Some of the ideas shared were flipping the meetings, hosting a meeting on Twitter, backchanneling, following the Edcamp model, hosting technology and app smackdowns, inviting students to introduce technology, doing community building activities, making it more collaborative by having everyone contribute on a Google Doc, hosting the meeting in a different location around the school, letting teachers break into small groups to collaborate, and using the first 5 minutes for teachers to share something great they’re doing. Find many more examples of inspiring leaders supporting their teachers with meaningful professional development at, #CPChat, and the Principal Cast hosted by Teacher Cast.

In the meantime, you can be inspired by one of my favorite principals, Principal EL!




Have a meaningful conversation with leadership that can transform your school environment.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at

One comment

  1. Many thanks for this post, Shelly! You’re absolutely right. If there’s one thing to change this school year at our school, this is it. There’s a lot of negativity surrounding meetings here, too. Making a change would save precious time and resources, it would greatly improve the atmosphere, and it would cost the school nothing.

    I’m keeping this post close by to pluck up courage when we talk to the leadership.

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