80/20 staff meetings this year (197:365)

source: thenovicespiritualist.wordpress.com

source: thenovicespiritualist.wordpress.com

I have been doing a lot of reflecting and planning for the upcoming school year. Yesterday, I posted about seeing an increase in Genius Hour and Makerspace opportunities for students. Today, I want expand on these ideas in terms of staff development. Genius hour, 20 rule, and a list of other initiatives are based off of the Google development philosophy. I am well aware that Google has since modified its approach to 80/20. With that said, I want to provide the staff with time to work on their own innovative projects….


During the year we have 18 staff meetings scheduled (2 per month)… This year I am going to redesign 4 of those meetings for individuals, or groups to work on something innovative that will benefit students. I wonder what we can accomplish in 4 meetings designed to allow staff to think outside of the box, and try something new! I think this will be the first step in a new direction for professional development.


Here are a few things I am thinking about to give this Genius Hour some parameters:

  1. What will we do? I will need to teach the staff about the expectations and ideas (let’s face it, some will need to see an example and others may have never seen or heard of such an approach to professional development before) Yet, I cannot and will not spoon feed, and my expectations are that staff will do something with this time besides grade papers, clean up their classrooms, or complain about stuff…
  2. Google tracks projects during their innovation time – I will need to develop a process to allow teachers to discuss/report their projects
  3. Staff will have to trust that failure is an option – For some reason, education does not truly embrace failure as a learning opportunity and that will be something to overcome
  4. We need to create small, achievable projects/innovations – Since the 4 meetings will be spread throughout the year, staff will need to start small.
  5. We will need patience and be sure to help everyone innovate

What are your thoughts?



4 thoughts on “80/20 staff meetings this year (197:365)

  1. Spike!!!

    I love this idea!! Changing the meeting culture is still a focus I need to improve upon so thanks for the direction…I want all of our staff to walk out more inspired than when they walk in (thanks Todd Whitaker), and this is a great way to do it. Well said, my friend.

    • Thanks for the kind words Joe! This shift in meetings has been a slow process from being principally-centered, to teacher-centered, to professional learning community centered, to being learner-centered… One step at a time! Thanks again for the support!

  2. I love this idea. I took it upon myself to sorta of hold myself to the 80/20 standard, and with my 20 I was able to put together an extensive technology training for each department in my school. I found websites, apps, and projects teachers could do with technology to enhance their specific curriculum. Then I held each of their trainings with just their department on a date they had specified. I even did some during their conference periods, so they didn’t have to stay after school. The 80/20 will change those who see this as a opportunity.

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