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  • Jim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip: 1/9/23 - Consider your Three Target Descriptors and Time Spent in Meetings

Today’s Tip: Consider your Three Target Descriptors and Time Spent in Meetings


When principals first start the SAM process they select three target descriptors—things they believe that if they did more of teachers would benefit—improve their practice faster.


Most principals select a combination of feedback and seeing instruction descriptors. Most SAM principals increase the amount of time they spend doing this key work with teachers. Great!


Most SAM principals, however, still spend more time in group meetings that any other activity. Good SAMs help the principal reflect on the relative value of each group meeting they engage. When a SAM is successful getting a leader to schedule follow-up after a group meeting there is a good chance others will benefit. When the leader can’t think of any logical follow-up activity it raises an important question concerning the value of the time spent.


Some meetings, of course, are outside the control of the school or district leader. Focusing on the intended outcome of a meeting will likely increase the chance the leader, and others, will find the time valuable.


It is fashionable in the business/corporate world to significantly limit the number of meetings scheduled. Some prohibit all meetings on selected days of the week. For example: Meeting free Tuesdays and Thursdays. Some advocates of this approach claim an increase in productivity.


Stand-up meetings are popular in a number of SAM districts. These meetings are just what the name implies and are short, to the point and relevant to the vision and mission of the school and district. The SAM Daily Meeting works as it is time-limited with very specific and expected outcomes that are easy to quantify and achieve.


Giving thought to the amount of time you spend in meetings might be valuable in your next SAM Daily Meeting. Revisiting your target descriptors is a good idea, too. (Orange TimeTrack logo ~ Settings ~ General Options ~ Target Descriptors.)


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