Priming the Pump

Public Relations & Communications for BSD Administrators

Most times, naming a newsletter is the hardest stinking part. This one was no different. As my brain turned over ideas, I couldn't take my eyes off the action plans for Strategy 3 staring me in the face on my desk. So of course, Lindsay Gunn came to mind.

HIs idiom, priming the pump, is one of the things I remember most about the strategic planning teams I have been a part of over the last decade or so. By definition, it means to encourage the growth or action of something. Perfect.

It's what I hope to encourage in each of you: growth and action in communicating with your staff, your students, your parents, and your school community.

Word Choice & Elevator Speeches

I emailed each of you last semester asking if given only ONE WORD to use when paraphrasing our mission, what it would be. The mission of the district, while true in each word, isn't one that rolls easily off the tongue. Therefore, if we want our staff to be able to communicate our mission, having powerful words to use in normal conversations are a must.

Consider this: A staff member is on the elevator at Central Office with a family, potential employee, or community member. The guest asks "who we are and what we do." What might that elevator speech sound like? Can we help them craft that message? Nothing lengthy, just filled with words define our beliefs & honestly answering the question.

Here were the words some of you shared:
Persevere, achieve, excel, empower, inspire, thrive, engage

Does learn belong on this list? (I'd hope so!) What about character? What else might fit the bill?

Each staff member, including us, needs to have on hand at least 3 things to brag about in any instance. Do you feel confident your staff is ready with those 3 things? Are you?

Here's a link to learning more about crafting a powerful elevator speech. Consider having this conversation at a staff meeting -- would love to hear the words your teams choose. I'd love to create a word cloud for our website with the collection!

Challenges: #NoOfficeDay and/or #Student4aDay

Consider participating in #NoOfficeDay, or perhaps a #Student4aDay. Leave the laptop in the office and visit with custodial staff, eat lunch in the cafeteria, visit the nurse's office, check a book out from the library--then sit and read it!

Another idea: become a student and shadow their schedule for the day. This is easier at the middle/high school level, but for lower ages, consider a child's schedule with speech, triages, takes meds, gets brain breaks, receives other special services. Get into their shoes and experience their day.

Here are links to learn more about each opportunity. I plan to do this during 2nd semester & challenge you to do the same!

#NoOfficeDay video (LOVE the idea how he traded & the kids submitted video applications!) Article

#Student4aDay (Carl Hooker does this annually...some great learning as he tweets)

Questions to think about...

When was the last time you ate cafeteria food--in the cafeteria?

*Show food service staff you appreciate their work, and students seeing you there would be priceless. Report back if you have suggestions for improvement!

When was the last time you rode a school bus?

*Learn about the challenges drivers face & show them you care about their concerns. Report back if you have suggestions for improvement!

Stay tuned...we'll be making one of these for Teacher Appreciation Week!