We’ve run 2 staff meetings this year using an #edcamp format. They were very well-received, productive, successful, and provided instant feedback for staff and/or immediate classroom learning opportunities for kids. We changed things up a bit for our most recent staff meeting, and did “Things That Suck”. Inspired by an edcamp session I did not attend (but piqued my interest by title alone), a tweet from @CurtRees, and this blog post by Bill Selak, I decided to give it a try. The result? Yet another hit spawned from global collaboration and sharing!

This format provided a platform for our staff to have candid conversation in a safe environment around pertinent topics that impact our daily work. We discussed homework, 1:1 student device initiatives, CCSS, Standards Based Grading, merit pay, and tenure. For those new to “Things That Suck”, I believe it can be productive in an environment that is already safe, candid, collaborative, and comfortable, or used to break the ice toward creating an environment with those characteristics. Either way, “Things That Suck” definitely does not, and will make a fine addition to your staff meeting format repertoire.

If you have other staff meeting formats that have been well received, or other ways to make collaborative time productive, I would love to hear about them.

About Sam LeDeaux

Administrator. Teacher. Learner. Coach. Chicago metro area. Passionate about kids, learning, and education. Follow me on twitter @sledeaux84 and at

2 responses »

  1. hoopesnothoops says:

    Sam, Tell me more about the #edcamp format. I will look it up as well. Thanks for your post.

    On Sat, Apr 12, 2014 at 2:21 PM, i teach kids


    • sledeaux84 says:

      Thanks for reading, Kyle! The objective of an edcamp format is to make PD meaningful and immediately applicable for learners (educators and students!). Depending on the collective mindset of the environment (fixed or growth), the shift may or may not feel uncomfortable and risky. Either way, the benefit to kids and your community is worth it. If there’s anything more I can answer or do, please let me know. I have just recently been exposed to this over the past 6 months, and this has unquestionably been the most productive, successful, and impactful period of my career–and I feel it is just beginning! Anything I can do to help others feel this same way and positively impact kids and learning communities, I am happy to!
      P.S. You may have local edcamps to attend physically, edcamps everywhere to attend virtually, and there is a leadership edcamp August 4 in Philadelphia. DM me if you’d like to know or talk more.


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