Before Shop Talk begins you’ll likely want to create a bit of a buzz that helps to generate conversations in the building. I plan to do this through the following steps:
Print the above poster and display it throughout major visible locations such as:
- The staff room
- Copy room
- Planning rooms
- Library (of course!)
- As well as distributed through the staff email list
This poster template, and many others are available at Canva ready for your own personalization.
Approach teachers and EAs individually to discuss their involvement in Shop Talk, what it is, how it will run etc. Through conversation find out what individuals are doing in their classrooms and create a list of talents/mini lesson possibilities for the Shop Talk sessions.
Remember, these conversations will help you discover where the perceived need is for professional development, sell staff on your collegial support network, and tap into staff’s knowledge base and skills.
Arrange for a quick five-minute presentation to staff at the first staff meeting.
Highlight these key ideas:
Shop Talk is a professional development group open to all staff members regardless of job description who want to improve themselves professionally by working collaboratively.
While Shop Talk will provide yearlong professional development opportunities, one does not have to guarantee their attendance at all of the meetings. Think of the group as an “opt-in” when ready or convenient.
Shop Talk’s professional development direction will be determined by the wants/needs/interests of the group members.
This is also a good opportunity to share some of the exciting things that are happening in classrooms around the school at the moment.
Allow for some questions, as well as feedback about topics and themes that individuals would like to see at Shop Talk.
Let staff know there will be a sign-up sheet posted in the staff room, so that approximate numbers are calculated prior to the meeting for material and food purposes, but by no means will that mean that if you don’t sign up you cannot come (however, do encourage early sign-up).
On the Monday before the Friday Pro-d send out a reminder email with an attached agenda for what the pro-d will look like.