I recently had an opportunity to take our leadership team away for an overnight retreat. We’ve had retreats in the past, and they’ve been on site and usually right before the beginning of the year. When meeting with our fab friends at Boosterthon, one mentioned how much cooler a leadership ADVANCE was than a leadership retreat. Once he said that I was hooked!
This leadership retreat was going to be different!
First I surveyed a date and gauged interest before I even booked the place. Making sure everyone WANTED to be there was important! Dates ranged in April and May and we settled on an overnight in April. Just one night, so they still had a part of their weekend to themselves.
I also conveyed what our purpose was going to be right up front. We were going to review leadership teams, detail what we thought were home runs from the past year, and also some strikeouts. We were going to discuss the school calendar and add all of our events so that we were all on the same page for #allthethings. It’s amazing how the tone can change when you give teams the opportunity to have input on dates vs just telling them when to be somewhere. They have such valid input on why scheduling something on Tuesday vs a Thursday made more sense. Things I wouldn’t have thought about and don’t necessarily have a hot sports opinion about. Our leadership team consists of our team leaders and our PLC leaders. One set of leaders handle the logistics of things happening and one set handles curriculum conversations. Each is responsible for conveying any info shared with the rest of the team.
What I brought for each teacher:
- a binder with a paper calendar, with dates already marked (holidays, state testing, etc)
- erasable pens
- post its
Just so you know the schematics….we were able to book a cabin a couple of hours away. We planned on cooking one meal, having a grab and go breakfast, and then we would all go to lunch at a local restaurant. I tried to keep it as simple as possible. We worked on teams and committees on Friday night and tackled the calendar Saturday morning.
The organic conversations were incredible. The time spent around the fire Friday night, listening to everyone’s “where I started” stories were irreplaceable. Their input made a huge difference and I am so thankful for a team that is willing to be IN the trenches with me. It’s taken four years for us to get to this place where we can share freely, openly, and know that we’re in the green zone together.
I highly suggest you “advance” at your next opportunity!