How to lead a committee at your school site is a common question for teachers who want leadership experience. It doesn’t matter whether an administrator appoints or approves your leadership on a committee, you get to serve as the point person. This very important job ensures your school continues to improve for the sake of staff and students. It’s an honor to serve on a committee.
Form the Committee
Your principal may create the committee titles or you may be able to submit requests. Be sure to review current committees, remove any that no longer align with the school goals, and add new ones that meet current needs. Forming a committee is as simple as volunteering or accepting your principal’s request to lead the group.
Examples of school committees are: sunshine (staff satisfaction), fundraising, curriculum, parent advisory, building maintenance and grounds beautification, school leadership, student intervention, technology integration, etc.
Cast a Vision & Set Expectations
In order to make the committee purposeful, it’s essential to cast a vision. What do you want to accomplish through this committee? Why is this committee important for this school right now?
Setting expectations for how the group will meet and accomplish tasks ensures all committee members are aware of how they should interact to fulfill requirements of participation. Be reasonable since many committees require time outside of the classroom and it is not additional pay (most often included in salary). Prioritize expectations so that the list is clear and concise. This increases the success rate for members to meet the expectations.
Recruit Committee Members
The principal may pre-determine which staff members serve where or staff might be able to sign up as they wish. If it is the choice of the individual, it is helpful to advertise your committee. Share it’s purpose and what you hope to accomplish through the committee. If it sounds enticing and enjoyable staff will sign up. The more committee members you can recruit, the easier it will be to meet your vision goal.
One way to keep committee members engaged is to meet on a regular schedule. You can decide as a group what day and time works best (usually monthly or bimonthly) and provide a calendar of events. As your meeting gets closer to that date and time, send out a reminder email or text to the committee members. In this email, include the agenda of items you plan to review or accomplish. This will help staff prepare for the meeting and come ready to work.
Note- if the original day and time end up not being a good fit for the group, you can change it. The idea is to meet consistently so it’s routine, rather than random, hard-to-remember meetings.
Track your Progress & Impact
Just because there is a committee that meets regularly does not guarantee progress towards your goal. Review your vision and expectations often. What tasks are you completing? Are they aligned to your vision? Are you successful in completing them? Note your progress and ensure you will be able to meet your goal in the allotted time. Otherwise, make appropriate adjustments.
Remember, the goal of a committee is to make the school a better place for staff and students. That impact should be the force that drives all decisions for the committee. Celebrate your progress and impact!
Gather Feedback from Stakeholders
Be sure to ask committee members for their feedback. Do they enjoy being a member of the committee? Is there anything they would like to change? Do they feel the expectations are fair? Is everyone pulling their weight? etc.
You can also ask the principal for their perspective on how the committee has impacted school performance as a whole. You might even poll a few students if appropriate.
Feedback will help you make adjustments before it’s too late, ensuring you stay on track to meeting your goal as a committee.
These six tips for leading a committee will ensure you grow your capacity as a leader of your peers while also helping your school become even more effective.
Bonus Tip: Lead a variety of committees (not all at once) to learn how to lead a diverse group of individuals and better understand different aspects of leading a school. Changing which committee you lead semesterly or annually will give you perspective and varied experience, rather than repeating the same experience over and over.
Want to continue to grow your teacher leadership craft? Below are recommended resources:
- Instructional Best Practices– Help yourself and others teach at high levels without the headache
- Teacher Leader PD– Grab tips, strategies and checklists to support the growth of others
- Instructional Coaching Forms– Quick and easy ways to coach up a colleague
GO BE GREAT!
What committee do you want to lead at your school site? Why?