Well, hi and thank you so much for coming and joining me. My name is Dan. I am the founder of Jesus PD. And today we're going to talk about three emails that you need to send to help reduce your meetings and reduce your time that you spending meetings but also reduce the number of meetings that you end up in as a teacher.
Now, some of this stuff comes from my book which is called Work Less Teach More how to be an effective teacher, and live a life. You love. The book is all about reducing your workload and improving your effectiveness. So if you would like to grab yourself a free copy of that, just head over to teachers pd.net slash free WLTM for work.
Less teach more even if it's going to teach us PD.net you'll land. You'll see a very clear. First deal on the page will be how to get a free copy of that book for you just pay for postage at handling and it comes out to you. But let's dive into these three emails.
Now, I want to basically walk you through a little system that I use to help reduce of meetings that I get into and it can be very helpful for you as you go about planning your term, next term, if you're about to go back to term, or if you've just started school or even if you're in charge of a school, maybe you're a Deputy or a principal, something you're in charge of organising, these meetings.
Hopefully this will help you to rethink how your meetings are done because what happens in schools is we just have these you know fortnightly or weekly or monthly kind of meetings. Let's get scheduled in and they just in there and you have to attend them no matter what. Even if there's nothing to talk about the meetings there and it gets run and I know I was talking to a friend the other day who's a teacher and he was in a meeting and they're like three points to get through that meeting.
Those points were covered in the first 15 minutes and then they spent the next 45 minutes in that hour-long meeting because it was scheduled for an hour trying to come up with other things to talk about or trying to get people to ask questions and just really wasting people's time.
So I think that's a load of rubbish. I think we shouldn't be doing that for teachers. I think we pay teachers relatively okay but in my country at least we pay teachers all right and I don't want to be paying a teacher's wage for them to stand around doing nothing in a meeting especially if they don't need to be there at all.
So If you're a teacher I want you to try these three emails and if you're in charges will running things and organising meetings. Please also pay attention to what we're talking about here and find every way you can to just reduce the meetings and to get teachers out of them doing the things that they need to be doing rather than standing around.
Listen to someone talk about something that they feel like interesting. So there are three emails I want you to send the first email that you should send out is you should send. Well, hey, I want to pre-phase preface this. These emails first. What? I want you to actually go to your calendar, find all the meetings that are in there and delete them.
Just remove every meeting that you have to get rid of them because what I want you to do is actually email the organiser. So as you go through, just right down what the meeting is and who organises it and then these you're gonna send the emails to these people.
So the first email with your sending to someone who organise one of these meetings, who wants you to be there. I want you to say that email. Ask them, what is your role in this meeting? Like when you're coming, what are you meant to be doing in that meeting?
And then what contribution do they want you to make to this meeting? And if there is not a role for you and if there is not something that they specifically what you to contribute to this meeting, then why do you need to be there? If you are not coming with a specific purpose that really, you shouldn't be there at all.
I think that's a meeting that's wasting your time and you should then follow up and say, well if I don't have a role and I'm not being asked to contribute anything to this meeting then. Yeah. I don't see why I would be at this meeting, and you can do that politely in respectfully and all those types of things.
But basically, You want that because if you are attending a meeting, you want to know what your role is, but are you meant to be critiquing? Something Are you meant to be bringing a whole bunch of information and contributing to this meeting. Is there a bunch of stuff that you need to read through before you attend?
This meeting You need to know what your volley is here. So if you have a role that actually helps you to be more purposeful with your meetings and be more effective with them and to get stuff done faster. You see meetings need to be effective, You don't want to be standing around.
Not sure about what you're doing sitting there. Maybe at the back doing some other work half paying attention to even that's going on. That is ineffective. It's a waste of the person who's running the meetings time and it's a waste of your time. So Meetings are for people who have roles and who are making contributions.
And if you're not either of those things, then you shouldn't be there and you should put forward an arguement that says you shouldn't be there. And then Do your best to be excused from going to that meeting. In fact, I would say, you know, I'm not coming to this meeting, I don't have a role or a contribution to make, so why am I coming?
It's a waste of my hour and a half of time sometimes to you. It means to go for ages. Okay? So that's email number one, is to find out what your role and your contribution are to the meeting really important for you to know that it'll help you in the meeting.
If you actually end up having to be there and you do have a role you drive a contribution to make, it gives you very clear purpose so that you actually getting stuff out of that meeting. The other email is for you know still setting to the people who are organising these meetings, If you look at the meeting you I don't see why I need to be there.
Like maybe there is some information that's going to be shared that you need. And so this email is you telling email saying? Well, that you won't be attending this meeting, but you will send someone else in your place. Now, this is particularly for you. If you're a head teacher or something, or you have a role to play in like, organising, some big event that's happening, But you're not going to be at that meeting, right?
You've got something else on or maybe you just don't want to be in all the meetings. So instead of you going you're gonna send someone else to act in your standard and really that person just kind of going to take notes for you on anything that will actually matters for you and etc.
So if you happen to be in a school where you're position, has an admin staff, you can send your admin staff to go and do that or if your head teacher you could possibly send teacher who's under you, maybe you have an assistant headteacher that you might send to that meeting to take notes for you instead or I hope you might even if it's possible to being with the meeting is and stuff.
But if it's plausible, you can even send a student to go and take notes. Maybe send the head of your student representative council or your your school captain, something like that to go and take some meetings for you notes, for you and come back to you with stuff. That might be relevant for you just to reduce your time with that.
Now that's probably not going to be too often that you're gonna be able to send that email. That's kind of his. I'm not coming but we send someone else right? That normally is for teachers who are higher up in the hierarchy right? Who are sending the admin staff or sending a teacher who's underneath them.
But if you're that teacher is being asked to. I believe that makes sure that you have a role that contribution to make to that meeting. That's very specific and given to you by the person who's sending you and why they've chosen you hopefully would be important as well. The last email is you said that email it just says that you won't be attending the meeting as it has absolutely no purpose for you, right?
And you won't be contributing anything. So if you have no vole, no contribution to make this is the email that you send. That's like, okay, I'm not coming to this email, to this meeting, sometimes you'll know beforehand, right? If it's just a general staff meeting where your principal stands and makes how much of announcements but that it actually have anything that's worthy to be discussed or for you to be contributing towards and stuff then maybe in a suggest to that.
You know, maybe this meeting needs to be cancelled because There's no point for us teachers to be there, okay? So that's your third email. So the most important email, obviously, in this whole sequence is, what is your role and your contribution to the meeting. So you're sending an email just saying this meeting scheduled.
One of my, what's my role in this meeting? What are you actually expecting me to do? What do you want me to contribute? If they come back in your eye, just what you're there to be kind of easel on the ground or whatever. Let's go. Well, thank you very much but I'm not coming, okay?
Or you might be able to send someone else's possibly but most likely is going to say, Thanks, but I'm not coming to that meeting. It doesn't actually serve a purpose for me, and even to me that doesn't serve any purpose at all. Doesn't contribute anything to any teacher who's been invited to that meeting, but you may even suggest that that meeting should be cancelled.
Now, when you suggest that a meeting should be cancelled. I would highly recommend that you suggest something that happens in its place. So, for example, for your big staff meetings, right? Where the principal is going to stand at the front and give a bunch of announcements, maybe the deputies gonna stay up and give some announcements ahead of welfare's, gonna give a bunch of announcements that can all happen via your school's normal announcement procedures, Okay?
You probably have some kind of website or Internet or a bulletin or something that comes around that has the notices for the day that you read off and tell you what's happening, and all the changes that have happened for the day, right? So they can just put announcements into something like that, they could, if they want to, they could record a video and send it to you of them making the announcements and then just ask you to watch it if they want to, they can put it into something like it puzzle.
They'll even track and make sure that you've watched the video. So that, when you've watched it, they can see up. You know, George has a big green line across the whole video. He's watched the whole thing, fantastic, okay. If that's what they're worried about, they can actually track whether or not you've watched the video or not and that's fine.
Okay, as long as I get to, I know like, for me, I love listening to things and what you things faster than normal. So no, if I'm watching a YouTube, it'll be on, at least twice the speed. That's the highest level. I think that YouTube let you my podcasts and stuff that I listen to audiobooks are often above two.
Sometimes they're at three and a half times the speed as I'm going through and learning and so I can get that mean done in way less time. If there's any questions and stuff that teachers have, I don't have to sit through them, they can email those questions back to the principle if they want to or the deputy and say, oh I didn't quite understand this.
What's my role here? You know, they can do that themselves And I would argue that in a school meetings, should definitely have a time limit, right? That should. And that time limit should be as minimal as possible, okay? I think no meetings should go for more than 30 minutes that's 30 minute max meetings.
And there should be a maximum of five people at these meetings because meetings are for when people are going to discuss things when they have contributions to make, when they get a reflect and examine something and chat to think about something together. And if you have all the five people then people aren't going to be all contributing.
Generally generally, We see this in that classrooms without kids in their schoolwork, you could put kids in a group that group is of 10 kids, you know, half those kids are not doing any work. At least half of them. That's why in classrooms, I have troops of three and so, for meetings meetings should be only of a few people who are all contributing to what's being discussed.
So that it's actually being done in an effective manner. So if you are a deputy, if you're a principal, if you're having meetings that are just being done because they're in the calendar, go through and check why these meetings here. Can I delete all these meetings for all the staff across the whole school?
And they say, right from now on, we are only going to have meetings when they're required when and meetings only ever required, when there's something to be discussed. And when the people who are in the meeting are going to be contributing something and have a role. So we're not going to have meetings anymore, where everyone's just sitting down listening to someone giving announcements we're not going to have meetings anymore for someone to talk about some great idea they have but they can send that in an email We don't need to be having all these meetings and wasting teachers time with these meetings.
So if you are in that role and you can change that for teachers change it, okay? Change it as much as you can to as few meetings as possible with as little going on as possible. So please think of ways that you can change meetings and get rid of them.
And if you're a teacher challenge, the meetings ask people, What's your role? What is the contribution that they want you to make? If there isn't one then just respectfully decline and say, thanks very much. I'm not coming to the meeting because it's not worth my time. And if you think the means not worth anyone's time, maybe you can suggest that the person who's going to run that meeting set an email out instead or a video out instead to save everyone the time, right?
They can, you can then watch it in your own time. You can choose when you go do that, when you doing shallow work, maybe rather than taking up time, that's valuable, you're going to deep work, or you're missing out on time. Going home picking out your kids or anything like that.
We need to just completely rethink how we do meetings. I think no school should have a regular recurring meeting at all. Let's just all be deleted and then as the people who want to run meetings, if you choose you go, okay, we need to have a meeting about this choose.
The people who are going to be in that meeting email, just them to come to the meeting, tell them what their role and their responsibilities are during that meeting. And then When you have that meeting, make sure it's a maximum five people there and keep it to less than 30 minutes.
So you are not wasting people's time. Just put set a timer and go through it if you can't get through it in 30 minutes, cancel it at the end. Go, right. Designate someone to follow up with things as we go forward. And if you need to have another meeting, reschedule it for another time and move on and let people think about it and come back, right?
Obviously, it's two biggest thing for you to discuss and do in one sitting. So that's what I would suggest, send out your emails. So you think to do this week is the email someone and say I've got this meeting that's scheduled in. What's my role? What am I contributing to this meeting?
And if it's nothing and send them an email and say you're not coming The worst, they can do, right? If it's principal, they'll say no you have to be there and I just need to ask. Why do I have to be there? That's what I was asking before. What is my role or my contributing to this meeting?
And you could have a very respectful discussion about meetings, You could go and approach, principal say, listen to this podcast, this is the go watch this video about meetings in schools and how they are actually wasting time and wasting a ton of money. Because we are paying these teachers to sit there and do stuff, that is a waste of their time and a waste of your time if you're running the meeting.
So let's think about how we do our meetings. Let's change that all up. If you want to learn more about how you can become more effective reduce your workload, make sure you go and grab yourself a copy of my book, go to teachersped.net, you'll see it. It's the first thing on the website to get yourself a free copy of that book.
I only ask you pay for posters and handling. Alright guys, Thank you so much for coming for giving your time. I look forward to chatting with you again next week.