Schools are rapidly changing across our country to best meet the needs of learners and prepare students for anything in their future. Educators should be commended for these efforts, as they are empowering learners, changing teaching practices and creating amazing experiences every day for students.
It is essential that leaders share and tell their school’s story to help inform our society upon the positive impact of schools. Here are some ways to consider sharing this story.
- Technology – This allows the school experience to be shared with others at any point in time and can reach all over the globe. Showing pictures and sending videos allows connections that was not possible previously. Face-to-Face communication is powerful but not always possible. Consider sharing:
- Weekly newsletters via video instead of email.
- Videos or pictures from classroom learning experiences.
- Share assemblies or special events so users can see the emotion, positivity and human connections that exist in schools.
- Feedback measures from the community, as it is more timely and efficient.
- Involve parents – Schools must partner with our parents/guardians as we are developing their most precious commodity – their children. Leaders must be creative on keeping parents informed but more importantly have them experience this positive change in school by:
- Parent Panel – Use your existing parents to share their school experience with parents that are new to your school.
- Student Showcase – Develop specific nights deemed as “student showcase” where students demonstrate their learning from the classroom to their parents. This reinforces what teaching/learning looks like in our current age.
- Invite parents in to help lead activities – Teachers are creative professionals but there are times when bringing in parents to share their insights about their profession or serve as the audience to student presentations makes the learning authentic.
- Create a Parent book study or EdCamp – This is a great way to help parents be familiar with resources, share conversations and learn together on raising children in this ever-changing world.
- Involve the community – Many people still think of the school experience like it was when they went to school……that can be several generations ago. The school experience now must be different. To help our community understand how schools have changed and to learn with them, consider:
- Bring in professionals (ex. engineers, artists, doctors, farmers, and tradesman) as ways to help explain a learning activity such as a PBL or Design Thinking. Their expertise is powerful for students making connections to the current world.
- Use an EdCamp model at “Back to School Night” or” Meet the Teacher” as ways the community can share their resources with families.
- Involve Students – Students are the reason we have schools and they are cultivating the society we will live in. Consider how can we have students share their experiences by:
- Writing to other students (ex. pen pals) in different parts of the world.
- Using Skype, blogs, vlogs or others to connect with classes from different regions.
- Have student led conference so students are empowered to be the change.
- Have mock debates or presentations with your local government or civic organizations on areas of conversation within your community.
A leader’s job is to have the vision of positive change within schools but they must involve others in telling the story. This allows everyone to see the quality work of the teachers and learning of our students. Leaders must aspire to be the best for their school and at times, that means allowing others to help tell the story.
As you strive to learn and stretch yourself as a leader, I would be curious on how you tell your schools’ story. Reach out to me with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org