How do we promote creativity in our students? If it was up to me I’d take away breaks and replace them with meetings. They’re just about the perfect environment to let creativity flourish. Works for me anyway.

Freewheeling biro art fills my pad with scratched black waves, hearts and what could be either evil looking cows or benign looking dragons (don’t try to pin me down, man). My planned evening meal becomes ever more elaborate and adventurous as I, along with 14 of my harassed and crumpled colleagues, sit and wait for 20 minutes to start because one person (ONE) phoned to say they may be a little late due to traffic. I add slices of gerkin to my imagined evening bacon cheeseburger and crinkle-cuts to my imagined evening plate of chips as others sit and fume and I love every second of it.

I mean, when in the horrendous grind of the typical working day can you wholeheartedly give yourself up to daydreaming for a luxurious hour or hour thiry due to the inevitable overrun?

I have lived many lives sat around a long table, been many people and done many heroic things whilst staring at someone struggle with a projector remote hoping they’ll never figure out it’s the ‘stanby’ button not ‘power’ that gets the ancient thing to whir into life so I can have a few more minutes leisurely respite.

I’ve nodded sagely and encouraged off-topic rants from off-topic ranters, asked if we could go round the group and introduce ourselves knowing full well who everyone is and what they do, and reminded the minute-taker to minute the action of…well, I don’t rightly remember what, but we should minute the hell out of that action anyway, just in case.

And I get away with it too. Because these pointless little things are not only expected, they’re welcomed. It seems that meetings aren’t subject to the same rules as everywhere else. There doesn’t seem to be the same striving for progress and results and monitoring of efficiency that pervades (especially in the classroom) and the slacker in me is extremely grateful for it.

The worst thing that could happen (and this would be truly, truly awful) would be if someone looked at these meetings, prepared a rigid agenda, stuck to it, started on time, finished on time, only called it if it was absolutely necessary and actually stuck to the things that mattered.

But until then I’ll be happy to spend the time working on my cow-dragons, cheers.






  1. Jill Berry

    Always learnt my lines for the staff panto in the pre-Christmas meeting of the full board of Trust govs where I was a head.

    Hoping none of them follow your blog, Thomas.

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