The first staff meeting of the school year is often the easiest one. All of the teachers will be fresh off of a relaxing summer break, and are usually eager to start a new year. As you plan the meeting, consider how you can encourage communication and foster friendships between old staff members and new teachers.

Breakfast

Get your teachers off to a healthy start by providing breakfast at the first staff meeting. Choose a mix of foods that will suit a variety of dietary restrictions. The food will give teachers and other staff members something to focus on and provide time for them to chat in an informal setting before the meal starts. It can also be great for teachers and staff members that were too nervous or rushed to eat before coming.

What I Did This Summer

For the adult version of the back-to-school standard, ask each person to share what they did over the summer. Go around the room and have everyone share a story or give an overview of the summer. It is easy for people to talk about themselves, and will be a good way to make the transition from the summer to the school year. The stories will provide people with connections and create conversational starting points.

Goals for the Year

Once the meeting's business gets underway, be sure to clearly set out the school or district goals for the year. Any goals of the school as a whole, like raising test scores or improving or changing the curriculum, should be clearly addressed with time for questions and answers. It is also usually a good idea to let each person list a few of the things that they personally want to accomplish over the school year. When everyone is on the same page, they can tailor their individual classroom activities to fit the organizational goals, and more often than not also learn from each other.

Announcements and Discussion

Bring all of your staff members up to speed by covering the important changes that happened over the summer. Mention retirements and introduce new staff members. Talk about funding changes, new policies, or updates to your school's regulations. By updating all of the teachers at once, you can save time later. The meeting is also a good place for staff to ask common questions and have constructive discussions.