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Every school’s online staff meeting during lockdown

“Why is everyone shouting?” – Tom Starkey takes the minutes from your school's last online staff meeting...

  • Every school’s online staff meeting during lockdown

Present

  • GL – (Deputy Vice Principal)
  • BN
  • RR
  • CL

Apologies from:
A number of frozen screens

Meeting held in:
The internets. A cloud in the internets, or something. I’m a bit new to all this.

Item 1 | Loud and clear. Mostly loud.

After the initial scrabble, this meeting has been called to try and maximise the effectiveness of the school’s remote learning strategy. We’re using a video conferencing app that makes virtual meetings ‘effortless’. GL set out the agenda.

GL: CAN YOU ALL HEAR ME? HELLO? HELLO?!

BN: HELLO? I AM HERE. CAN YOU HEAR ME? I AM IN THE MEETING. HERE I AM, IN THE MEETING.

GL: I CAN HEAR YOU. CAN YOU HEAR ME?

BN: YES. I AM HERE.

GL: NO, CAN YOU HEAR ME?

BN: YES! I AM HERE!

RR: For the love of … why is everyone shouting?

GL: SORRY, YOU BROKE UP THERE. SAY AGAIN.

RR: WHY IS EVERYONE SHOUTING?

GL: YOU NEED TO STOP SHOUTING. IS YOUR MICROPHONE ON?

CL: Everything is working okay here.

BN: YES! I AM HERE. I AM HERE IN THE MEETING!

CL: Right, you lot – you see that little microphone icon in the top left? If it’s red, sound’s on. If it’s blue, sound’s off. If it’s red, just talk normally – otherwise we may as well just scream out of the window to each other. It’d be quieter.

After a period of adjustment (and a not inconsiderable amount of further shouting)...

GL: Shall we do video as well?

RR: OK, but I’m warning you all, I’m in house clothes and it’s not exactly high fashion. These tracky bums saw the London Olympics.

GL: Not to worry, I’m the same here.

BN: YES! I AM HERE!

CL: At least you’re wearing clothes. Did you hear about Aaron Travis in 11DF? Cammed up to his virtual physics class wearing virtually nothing. Whole class was physically ill. I’m all for comfort in these trying times, but that lad needs to get a little less comfortable and put on some longer shorts.

GL: It’ll be good to see everyone.

The next 20 minutes were spent admiring bookshelves, enquiring as to the shades of taupe in each others’ respective kitchens and laughing at the state of RR’s trousers.

Item 2 | No school like the old school

GL: Okay, everyone now seems to be on a stable connection, so all jokes aside – here’s what I wanted to say. This has been an unprecedented time of change and worry. I’m grateful for all the work you’ve done and continue to do. I’m proud to have you all as members of the team, and proud of what we’ve achieved.

I’m proud of the children and how they’re coping. You’re all fantastic, and have allowed the school to remain the bedrock of the community we all serve. I know that these meetings can sometimes take a turn for the absurd, but I wouldn’t want to be here with anyone else. From the bottom of my heart – thank you all.

RR: Sorry, my connection’s gone wonky. Could you say that again?

CL: What was that? I think my lad’s playing FIFA and my internet can’t handle more than one thing at a time. Bit like me, really…

BN: I AM HERE IN THIS MEETING!

GL: Not to worry, folks. Let’s call it a night. See you tomorrow.

AOB

Not this time

Meeting adjourned

...although it took BN a good half hour to realise that.

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