Did you know that no matter if you are the superintendent, a teacher, a janitor, a library media specialist or any other staff member at your school, you are all responsible for being storytellers for your school? This isn't just the duty of one person. Every school employee plays a part in the public's opinion of their local school--if it's successful or not, if its curriculum is well-rounded, if its programs are groundbreaking and challenging, if it's welcoming to all students, etc.
Thus, it's vitally important that all employees are well-versed in the mission, vision and the school/district's central messaging. Consistent messaging is key so people understand the overall goals you have for educating your students and your plans for achieving them.
This means that district and school leaders should have training to ensure staff know and can share this information with others. This is especially important for new staff. In addition to the components listed above, what's the school motto? What's the mascot? Are there particularly important historical facts about which the community has a strong sense of pride? These are just as important to a school and the ties to its community.
Never forget: there are things going on in your buildings every day that you will want to celebrate and of which the public needs to be aware. And when we say you as staff members are the storytellers of your schools, we mean it! You don't want people hearing about what is happening through the rumor mill on social media, through texts students send home to parents or through any other avenue. Because just as bad news can be twisted through the grapevine into a story that isn't entirely true, so can the good news. And these too can land in the media's hands and are just as frustrating for you to have to clean up, so stay in control of the message from the get-go by being the chief storyteller.
The overall takeaway is this: every single one of you has amazing stories that aren't always getting told for a variety of reasons: they're simply being overlooked, your staff is just too busy to be able to share them or you just don't really know how to go about doing it. These things are not your fault. You're just wearing too many hats and have too many responsibilities to have one more thing to worry about.
But you don't have let these wonderful moments go unnoticed! You AND your students work too hard to miss being celebrated for all the things you are doing. So let us help you. We have staff who can work with you to build your stories and get them out there for the world to see. Ready to tell them? We're ready to help you share them.
I refuse to be negative! It is so easy to fall into the rut of “Woe is me” syndrome.
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