Schools: Out with same old, same old

Feel like your school needs a change of pace this year?

It can be all too easy to settle into a routine and start to let those idealistic dreams fade away in favor of making sure things get done. (Happens to all of us, regardless of the industry we work in!

That’s why we’ve compiled our top 3 ways to help school administrators make positive changes this academic year:

#1: Get out of your office.
school administratorIt’s tempting to keep your nose buried in emails and paperwork all day long, but staying in touch with what’s really going on around your school is very important, too. Make it a point to regularly get out of your office and experience the real daily happenings. Notice what teachers are doing, what students are doing, what projects make it on to the walls, and maybe what needs to be fixed or replaced. It’s likely you’ll begin thinking of things to do on these walks – people to recognize, projects that need to be undertaken, etc. Take notes so you don’t forget!

You can even go one step further by creating scheduled “wandering time” each week. Carve out the time on your calendar and also consider rotating through different areas or buildings to ensure you don’t leave parts of the school unvisited.

#2: Work on your PR strategy.
Who are the people that make first impressions on new students, parents, teachers and other visitors? It’s those who are on the front lines, people like your office staff, bus drivers and even groundskeepers. Making sure those people understand their impact and execute it well goes a long way toward a good reputation for your school.

Bus drivers typically are the first school employees students (and parents) encounter on a daily basis. If bus drivers are helpful, friendly and warm that can set the tone for the entire day. Administrative staff usually register and greet school visitors, whether that means new students and parents, teachers interviewing for open positions, or other visitors. When visitors are greeted with a smile and a genuine concern for helping visitors get what they need, the first impression can only be positive. You may not think groundskeepers and custodial staff would be a crucial part of your school’s reputation, but if the grounds and buildings are not neat and clean, your school may be thought of by some as unorganized and not the best place for learning.

Be sure to clearly communicate your expectations to these groups and take the time to hire the right people with the personalities to pull it off!

#3: Make school a healthy place.
school lunchStudents, teachers and other staff spend so much time at school that it just makes sense to incorporate more healthful practices into the school day. Students who learn healthy habits at school are more likely to carry those lessons home with them and stick with them in the long-term. Healthy teachers are generally happier and therefore provide a better learning experience for the students.

 

A few ideas for making health a bigger focus at your school:

Plant a school garden. Not only is this a fun and physical activity for students and teachers alike, there are important lessons woven in about how food is produced and working hard, then reaping the rewards of that hard work.

Create a health-related committee. This group can help lead the charge with ideas and execution of health-related initiatives. Include a variety of administration, teachers, students and parents.

Establish wellness programs for staff. Your staff lead students by example so consider creating programs such as incentives for walking or biking to school, healthy eating options for meetings and other activities, etc.

Don’t let the “same old” syndrome set in this school year – make changes to keep things alive, interesting and nurturing for ALL those active minds in your school!

 

Resources:

http://edge.ascd.org/blogpost/5-ways-principals-can-shake-up-the-new-academic-year http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin424.shtml http://www.letsmove.gov/sites/letsmove.gov/files/pdfs/SchoolsTakeActionAccessible.pdf

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