We'll meet again... ad nauseam

3rd December 2004 at 00:00
Q: I am fed up with the number of after-school meetings I am being asked to attend. I've been attending at least two - but often four - meetings a week. My mentor said that my professional development meetings on Wednesdays don't really count as, although pupils leave at 2.40pm, school does not officially end until 3.40pm. Even so, the meeting lasts until at least 4.30pm. I don't mind going to meetings that are constructive and useful, but mainly they seem to consist of senior management burbling on about nothing and using 25 words where two would do. Are there any guidelines for attendance at meetings?

A: Oh, how I share your feelings about meetings. No, there are no such guidelines, although this issue should be considered as part of the agenda for remodelling the workforce, which emphasises the need for teachers to have a good work-life balance. Speak to other staff and air your feelings.

Sometimes a newly qualified teacher is like the little boy commenting on the emperor's new clothes - you state the obvious that others who are used to the status quo accept without question. Every meeting should have a strict start and end time as well as an agenda that should make it clear whether you need to attend.

Sara Bubb

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