The midyear doldrums will strike your school in the post-holiday haze, dragging at the school community as everyone gets back into the regular schedule. That’s not to mention the temporary onset of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), triggered by the waning daylight hours and plunging temperatures of winter. Re-inspire your students, teachers, and fellow administrators through these winter blues busters!
Your school’s newsletter is a powerful internal marketing tool, in addition to being an ongoing source of vital information for the school community. As such, you can work to guide casual conversations through your “Head’s Column”—the portion of your school’s newsletter in which you can talk as School Head about important topics that directly impact the school. Writing such a column on a monthly (or even bimonthly) basis can feel daunting, but take a deep breath. We have three things you can do that will immediately improve the column—and your community's response to it.
Any place that parents gather is a place where gossip and information spreads like wildfire—like your school’s parking lot during drop-off and pick-up periods. While waiting for their children, parents like to talk about what’s going on in their lives, which often includes their perspectives on school life. Such conversations should be expected, monitored, and maintained as a microcosm of your school’s broader marketing effort.
As School Head, you’re in a unique position to discover which way the wind blows early—and to communicate in ways to change the direction of the conversation.
Last month, we talked about the benefits of having monthly “Head talks,” during which you’d make yourself available to chat with parents and families in an informal setting. We still believe they’re a great tool for building rapport with families and community stakeholders. There are, however, some problems that may arise in such a program, should you not take care.
As the School Head, your personal time and attention to various school issues are both limited and constantly in demand. So, if you make time to see parents once a month or so—perhaps for a coffee hour or an informal evening potluck with babysitting provided—families will appreciate your effort and will take advantage of the opportunity. These “head talks” can benefit you, too—if you plan ahead correctly.
What is your school doing the week of November 16-20? Hopefully, you’re all preparing to participate in International Education Week (IEW). 2015 marks the fifteenth anniversary for this joint initiative begun in 2000 as a collaboration between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education. Join schools around the world, and have your students and faculty try out these easy ways to celebrate cultural and educational exchange!
Page 3 of 4