Lead a STEAM Team Faculty Meeting

Lead a STEAM Team Faculty Meeting

Looking to start the school year with a strong STEAM emphasis? There’s no better place to set the tone for a year of productive STEAM learning than your next faculty meeting. Faculty meetings provide the perfect setting to bring all of your teachers and administrators minds together to discuss, brainstorm, and share ideas for the year to come.

Champion STEAM at your next faculty meeting (with a little help from us). In this article, you will find all the tips and resources you need to host an engaging, strategy-packed presentation and thought-provoking discussion. Empower the educators at your school to make this your best year for STEAM education yet!

Lead an Informative and Interactive Faculty Meeting on STEAM

Establishing the Professional Development Needs of Your STEAM Team

All successful meetings start with strategic planning. Before you meet with your colleagues, think about the following questions and prompts:

  • What are the STEAM needs of your school? How can you improve the integration of STEAM across the subject areas?
  • Helping students form bonds
  • What are the gaps in your core curricula that can be addressed supplementally by STEAM?
  • What resources and information do your educators need to be successful in growing your program?
  • If your STEAM education program is well established, where are your educators still struggling?
  • How can the process be improved to ensure that all students have equal opportunities to experience STEAM project-based learning?
  • Do your educators have a process to measure STEAM results and gauge the effectiveness of your approach?

You may find that you don’t have answers to some of these questions. That’s fine! Include some thoughts in your pre-meeting notes so that you can pose the question(s) to your colleagues. If you have the ability, conduct a survey prior to the meeting to gather your educators’ thoughts beforehand. This will help you determine and prioritize the problems that need to be addressed.

It is essential to have a clearly identified goal of the meeting. What do you want the faculty to walk away with? Is your main goal to renew their enthusiasm for STEAM? Do you want to brainstorm STEAM projects together? Be sure to write your goal or goals down before the meeting so that you can ensure it is met.

Once you have your goals defined, you can begin to strategize the execution. Know what your time limits are, and plan accordingly so that you can address the top priority points first. If you need specific technology, props, or models to illustrate your points, gather those in advance. It’s important to make the best use of your time together and avoid wasting it trying to gather materials at the last moment.

See the checklist below to help you plan and organize prior to the meeting.

Checklist for a Successful Faculty Meeting
  1. Create a clear meeting agenda for yourself
  2. Send a meeting invitation to all attendees with link (if applicable), description of what will be covered, and a discussion guide (see free download)
  3. Designate a notetaker to write down the next steps and ideas generated during your meeting
  4. Schedule a follow-up meeting to ensure that action items are executed, and address any needs that come up following implementation

After all of this planning, you will be ready to lead your STEAM-centric faculty meeting!

Start with Team STEAM

If time allows, kick off your meeting with a STEAM focused activity! A STEAM exercise will set the tone of the meeting and get your educators in the right mindset.

We recommend using a TinkRworks product like Art Electric or LaunchPad to facilitate an easy STEAM activity. If this proves to be too time consuming for your meeting’s constraints, download our This or That Activity and have teachers complete and share their prompt.

STEAM Brain Builders Activity

Review Best Practices of STEAM Learning and Share Printable Resources

Once you’ve warmed up with a fun STEAM activity, you should segue into a review of the basics. Share resources that outline the benefits and purposes of STEAM education, and offer printables that will enhance implementation.

This review of STEAM’s benefits should ultimately enable your colleagues to consider and brainstorm the following prompts:

  • Consider what students gain from STEAM learning
  • Outline the foundations of a rigorous STEAM curriculum
  • Promote reflection of past/current STEAM teaching and learning
  • Spark new ideas in teachers
  • Highlight practices not being utilized in STEAM curriculum in the classroom or the school
  • Enhance the breakout sessions and whole group discussion portion of faculty meeting because teachers will have fresh take on successful STEAM programs

This portion of your STEAM faculty meeting will focus on the needs you identified for your school during your strategic planning phase. Below we’ve compiled our various printable resources that can be shared in a STEAM faculty meeting depending on your objectives.

STEAM Project-based Learning Resource Kit

High Performing STEAM Classroom Professional Development Kit

STEM/STEAM Engineering Design Process Handout

Small Group Breakout Session

To ensure that all teachers and administrators have the opportunity to share their perspectives and ideas, try breaking out faculty into small groups. This cultivates a less-formal atmosphere so that you can encourage authentic discourse. It may be easier for people to share on a smaller scale. Additionally, small breakout groups provide a greater level of interactivity that allows an opportunity for new ideas to spark!

We suggest small groups work together on a STEAM Discussion Guide for 15-20 minutes (or 5-10 if time is more limited). Although Each person in the group is provided their own STEAM Discussion Sheet to fill out, the purpose of working in a smaller group is to engage in discourse with fellow educators. Instruct groups to discuss each question together and then fill out their individual sheets.

Whole Group Discussion

Once the faculty have finished their breakout sessions, go through the discussion guide as a group. Ask volunteers to share their responses with the entire faculty meeting. It is vital to nurture a supportive, open faculty culture that welcomes robust discourse.

When you receive commentary and feedback from teachers, be cognizant of your reactions. Be sure to always thank them for sharing, and let them know that what they say is important. This encourages others to share their thoughts by creating an open and welcoming environment.

If the group finds discontentment or disagreement, ask everyone why teachers might be in such different places on a specific topic. This informs your staff that you are aware of this situation, and provides them with an opportunity to enlighten you with their perspectives. *Remember, it’s better to know why disagreements are breeding than to dismiss or misunderstand them.

Setting Your School’s STEAM Action Plan

To close out your faculty meeting, outline the course of action you will all be taking to enhance STEAM learning in your scho

Start by setting clear and attainable STEAM goals. Then, identify the strategies and resources everyone should be using to meet these goals. This may vary amongst staff or subject areas. Be sure that everyone knows what is expected of them–both uniquely and across the entire faculty.

Next, share the ways in which leadership will assist teachers in meeting these goals. It is vital for teachers to feel supported in this effort. They should feel confident that leadership will do everything they can to address pain points, provide PD opportunities, and get the materials required to succeed.

Schedule a Follow-up Meeting

Do not end without setting up a follow-up meeting for the near-future. In this meeting, you will come together to share and review curriculum or projects you’ll be implementing to enhance STEAM education.

You should also treat this follow-up as a pulse-check. It is essential to check in with educators after a few months to discuss how the STEAM action plan is progressing. Together, you can evaluate which elements are working, and assess those that are not working well. This is a crucial role of leadership. STEAM is much more than a one-time faculty meeting. In order for your efforts to translate into results, you must be diligent and dedicated to supporting your staff.

In Conclusion

In summary, a faculty meeting provides an opportunity to bring staff together and rally around the implementation of a STEAM curriculum in your school. There are several ways to facilitate discussion, so be sure to consider which approach works best for your faculty and your meeting constraints. Once you have strategized and compiled your resources, you can lead a productive STEAM-focused meeting.

Utilize the resources shared in this article (like our This or That download, or our Art Electric and LaunchPad STEAM projects) to ensure a successful kick-off, then use the discussion guide to enable sharing of ideas and perspectives. Finally, outline your STEAM goals, and schedule a follow-up meeting to address and discuss pain points or victories.

If you put the work into planning for a STEAM-focused faculty meeting, you can inspire your educators to embrace the challenges, excitement, and benefits of a rigorous STEAM solution in your school!

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