My Son’s Parent Teacher Meeting (PTM) got Better!

Every time there is a PTM, it’s lot of time spent with little value. We spend almost the whole morning and end up meeting one or two teachers at most. It has been frustrating.

I went to his school with the same expectation this time too. However, I found something is different. When we reached one of the teacher’s room, I saw there was a kid at the entrance, asked us to write down our name in the list. He told us that we will be informed as soon as our turn comes. As we were wondering around, he came running to us in few minutes informing us that it’s our turn. We went inside to talk to the teacher.

After few minutes, the same kid slowly opened the door and peeped inside. Teacher looked at him and acknowledged. We continued to talk. After couple of minutes, he peeped in again. This time teacher said, we are almost done. However, neither teacher nor kid said anything to us. I got curious and asked the teacher what is this all about. She said that it is a time check.

When I went to the next teacher I was cognizant about the time check this time. It was the same process there too. A different kid peeped in after few minutes and we were done soon after that. I went to the kid and asked what is he doing. He said that he peeps in after 5 minutes to give a message that time is up and the conversation generally ends  within 7 to 8 minutes. I asked him why didn’t he give 8 minutes and he said that then it is going to take 10 to 11 minutes. Also, he mentioned that he only does time check couple of times otherwise parents will get annoyed.

We finished meeting 4 teachers in 60 minutes which is a record time. My take aways from this experience are the power of time boxing and the effective facilitation techniques the kids used. The time check was subtle, yet effective. I have seen facilitators interrupting too much during the meetings that causes frustration to the participants. A good facilitator helps team achieve the out comes effectively.

I teach listening and simple facilitation techniques to run effective meetings in my Advanced CSM workshop!

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