"Principal-directed" Grade level meeting have been a topic of concern for some time. Too often I felt, and quite frankly was told by teachers, that they are doing the work "because Beyer told us to." This was the case even after I asked teachers to develop the guiding questions.
The question/ dilemma is, how can we make the time useful for teachers so that it leads to genuine, authentic, collaboration that leads to improved instructional practices?
My original idea was to create a 'menu' for teachers to choose from. There would be three columns that they could mix-and-match from, with the first column a Convergence Pillar, the second column part of a Powerful Practice, and the third column the stage of development.
During the meeting we discussed possible scenarios and obstacles to this. What soon developed was a focus on a cycle of continuous improvement. It was the same work we did in Performance Management and in our Powerful Practice, but now we were applying it to grade level meetings and around a Convergence Pillar.
This is all about professional learning. Learning isn't a linear line. Learning needs to be differentiates based on individual, team, grade level, and discipline. Learning needs to be reflective and collaborative. Learning also has to examine teacher practices to get at how we teach. This time during grade level meetings is focused on us as professionals and our craft as educators.