I know Johnny is going to struggle with Algebra because I had a miserable time with it when I was in school.
- Said by Many Parents every Open House
Which side of your face do you want me to slap, or should I slap both sides?
- My response
My wife likes to tell me it's my tone and I know I can often word things better than I do, but I will stand behind my above response till the cows come home. Of course I also understood that my job would be in jeopardy if I left the conversation there.
I think I was able to nail my tone with that response, because I never had an administrator complain to me to change. I am confident it never got back to any of them, saving me from problems. Of course after my response to the parent, I would go on to explain the problems with their line of thinking. But the scary things is that is a mild version of a serious problem for schools today. Too often students grow up hearing negative messages about school, even though most are not intended to be as detrimental as they are.
How many times have you turned on your local news, or read in your news feed about a negative Student - Teacher interaction? For every inappropriate interaction there are thousands of positive ones ever hour across the country. The positive stuff doesn't make for a sexy news headline and won't be shared unless we intentionally do so. We must continue to tell the true story of the incredible things our teachers and students do daily.
In the latest edition from Dave Burgess Publishing, Ryan McLane and Eric Lowe discuss ways that educators can be sure that the right message is getting out about our schools. Your School Rocks is a great source of ideas for educators. This is all too important with the addition of Charter and other for-profit education entities. We have to continue to fight hard to showcase the positives.
What are you doing to share the positive experiences in your schools? Are you sure your message is getting to the intended audience? As Dave Burgess said recently, "often we use mediums that are outright useless.... We need to go where our audience is, not where we think they should be." I would love to hear your your ideas in the comments.
So are you up to the challenge? Positivity is infectious. The more we share the great things that are going on the more good we will recognize. I would like to challenge you to blog about the great things you are seeing in your schools. While I am confident this will benefit our teachers and students, I am even more confident that you will benefit most from the experience. When we focus on finding and recognizing the positive things, we naturally are happier and more positive in our daily actions.
If you begin this challenge, please share the links to your blog articles with me. I aim to gather as many great experiences as I can in several formats, so I can help spread the messages on various levels. Make that conscious effort to find great things and lets be sure that OUR message is the face of education today!