Still MORE on Flipping the Faculty Meeting

Back in early July, I wrote two posts (see here and here) suggesting that if school principals REALLY wanted to see teachers flipping their classrooms, that they should consider flipping their faculty meetings. 

My reasoning was simple:  Teachers won't be convinced that flipping the classroom carries benefits FOR learners until they experience those benefits first-hand AS learners

Heck – who are we kidding: Teachers won't be convinced that flipping the classroom is even DOABLE until they experience flipping first-hand — and what better way to expose teachers to a flipped learning environment than to model those environments in our regularly scheduled faculty meetings.

The posts really touched a chord, receiving just over 10,000 page views in a month and sparking a bunch of action on the part of school leaders around the country — including several first-attempts at flipping faculty meetings by folks like ME Steele-Pierce.

I was most jazzed, though, by the packed session on Flipping the Faculty Meeting run by my digital pal Damian Bariexca at Edcamp Leadership

Not only was Damian surprised by how many school leaders turned up for the conversation, he was blown away by how willing they were to collectively think through the challenges of making flipped faculty meetings a reality.


One of the core questions the group wrestled with over and over again — which Damian attributes to Marc Seigel — was, “What is the most effective use of our time together?”

My answer to that question is a simple one:  When teachers are together, they should be studying the characteristics of effective instruction — and sadly, that hardly EVER happens in traditional faculty meetings.

But it would be a BREEZE in a flipped faculty meeting!

So here's another challenge to school leaders:  Early next year, go to one of your best classroom teachers and record about 15 minutes of one of their lessons.  Capture different moments — maybe the way that they open the lesson or the way that they use higher level questions to challenge their students.

Then, break your video into five-minute segments.  Upload each segment to a different slide in a VoiceThread presentation and then share the final product with your staff at least a week before your next faculty meeting. 

Ask your staff to watch the video in advance — either alone or with their learning teams — and to answer the questions in this practice centered observation protocal in comments around the actual VoiceThread slides or on a handout that they'll be required to turn in.

When you actually gather as a faculty, have teachers work in table groups to reflect on the lesson that they observed. 

Encourage them to use the commenting feature of VoiceThread to highlight strengths of the instructional practices that they observed in action. Just as importantly, encourage them to offer suggestions about how the practice can be polished and improved.

By doing so, you'd accomplish a thousand leadership goals, wouldn't you?

First, you'd be modeling the power of a flipped classroom.  By having teachers consume content and reflect in advance, you'd free time for more powerful conversations when you're actually in the same room together — which is one of the main advantages of flipping anything.   

You'd also be making the kinds of accomplished practices that are common in your building transparent to everyone — something that rarely happens in the sadly isolated reality of most traditional schools — and modeling the kinds of questions that are asked and answered by peers who study practice together.

But most importantly, you'd be reminding your faculty that the time that you spend together should be spent on studying teaching and learning — and THAT's a message that we ALL need to hear over and over again.

Does any of this make sense?

More importantly, is it actually doable?


Related Radical Reads:

What If You Flipped Your Faculty Meetings?

More Ideas for Flipping Faculty Meetings

Practice-Centered Observation Protocol [Handout]






9 thoughts on “Still MORE on Flipping the Faculty Meeting

  1. Bill Ferriter

    Way to go, Mike!
    If you write about the nuts and bolts of the experience on your blog, be sure to let me know. There are a TON of interested principals who I think are willing to give it a whirl, but they want to see a flipped meeting in action before they take the plunge.
    And youre right: To comment on a Voicethread, you have to have a user account — even if its a free account. It might be the kind of thing where you let people who are passionate enough and motivated enough by a conversation to make the choice to sign up for an account if they want to.
    Jazzed youre experimenting with this. Cant wait to hear more about how it goes.
    Rock on,

  2. Mike Hasley

    I made my first flipped meeting. I’ll send it out on Friday and then we’ll have the face to face meeting on Wednesday. I used, but then read this and thought, “Voicethread! Of course.” But, I’ve never figured out how to get folks to comment on VT without having to login. The settings let you chose that setting, but it seems like they always have to log in to do it. I’d prefer not making people sign up for VT if I don’t have to.

  3. Bill Ferriter

    Hey Bob,
    What are some of your specific questions? Ill see if I can help — or if I can put you into contact with some of my admin buddies that have been doing some of their own experimenting in the past few months!

  4. Bob Ketcham

    I am interested in the “nuts & bolt” of how to flip a faculty meeting. I am interested in this idea but I feel I need to know more before I dive into this.

  5. Bill Ferriter

    Hey ME,
    Really looking forward to seeing the bit youre planning to write for John about the whole process!
    Its great for me to throw ideas out there. Its even better when someone makes those ideas happen. Youll have more influence with your admin peers than I will.
    Drive that change….

  6. M.E. Steele-Pierce

    Seems to me that a good agenda is the same as a good lesson plan. Admins must practice what they expect of their teachers. Faculty meetings are about adult learning: conversation, not information, is the key. Love the idea, Bill. Thanks for generating all this interest.

  7. Kmannarbor

    I’m very excited about this idea and I may be in a position to implement this. I’m starting my student teaching in the fall and recently had a meeting with my principal and mentor teacher. The principal asked my mentor if she wanted to have the first Flip classroom at the high school. Sounds like he’s open to trying this with students. It stands to reason he’d be open to trying it with his staff as well. Thanks for pointing out Voicethread. I just signed up and will start tinkering soon (READ: after final research paper of summer term is completed.)

  8. teachermrw

    I’m all for innovation. But, just like with the flipped classroom, if we’re not examining the pedagogy or lack thereof behind fsculy meetings, PD, and the like, to what end does the flipping serve? I realize that the word pedagogy tends to scare and rattle many in the K-12 community, but,we need to be able to talk about the issue in this manner.

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