Lifelong Learner & Reflective Practitioner

Lifelong Learner & Reflective Practitioner

Let's Transform Our Schools Into TRUE Professional Learning Communities

Let's Transform Our Schools Into TRUE Professional Learning Communities
In Your School- Do all stakeholders subscribe to the belief that EVERYONE has something to learn and EVERYONE has something to teach? This blog can help you gain insight on how to facilitate this transformative mindset with your faculty!

Dec 17, 2012

Monday Memos

One of the things that I do to improve the communication at our school is a Monday Memo. I stole the idea of a Monday Memo from a former principal of mine, but I have made some modifications that I think better suits our school's needs.I made a template for the memo and keep it on my on my desktop. The template contains four basic sections: Clip art of the school's mascot with a mission statement and that week's dates, a KUDOS section- where we recognize individuals and teams that have done something great over the past week, a PROFESSIONAL GROWTH section- where we include some kind of relevant literature, story, case study, or research that pertains to a school goal or initiative, and a FRIENDLY REMINDERS section- where we include important upcoming dates/events and things that we just want everyone to remeber to be mindful of (i.e., remember that your lesson plans always need to be laid out on your desk so that when we visit your room we may refer to them if we need to).

Teachers have been asked to always drop me a quick note or email if they want me to place some type of reminder on the memo (i.e., the ELL teachers may ask me to place a FRIENDLY REMINDER in the memo for classroom teachers to inform them of any upcoming conferences with ESL students' families). Teachers also share kudos about their colleagues when they see them doing something above and beyond and I put those in the KUDOS section of the memo.

I send the Monday Memo out electronically over the weekend so that anyone who wants to have a heads up can take the time to read it at home. We also put a hard copy in all of the faculty members' mailboxes on MOnday morning so that they can have it in hand and refer to it.

In addition to keeping the communication going, the Monday Memo could also be a very useful tool for dealing with a non-performing faculty member. For example,you tell all teachers that they are expected to keep their Monday Memos in a notebook (punch holes in the memo each week as a courtesy. You include in the FRIENDLY REMINDERS section of the memo some important bit of information that you need everyone to be aware of. One teacher does not comply with the request and when you ask why s/he says that that they didn't know what was expected. You can always say, "Well, let's look at your Monday Memo notebook." You can then show that person exactly where the directive was stated and on what date.

Hopefully, the memo would just be used for the positive and everyone will appreciate the fact that they will receive important information in a memo (as opposed to a face to face sit and get meeting). The Monday Memo allows administartors to then be free of spouting off tidbits of information during faculty meetings and that time can be put to much more productive use, such as professional development.

What do you think? Do you use any kind of weekly brief with your faculty? What are the components of yours? How is yours used?

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