With all of the negativity in the news this week for schools across the country, I am reminded more and more of what I have heard so many great digital leaders state; that we need to be our own PR department. There have been a lot of negative stories concerning schools and teachers that the positives do not get looked at. The story that revolves around something negative, no matter how minor, will always get more air time than a story about the many positives that go on in our schools.
We have the technology on us at all times that allow us to easily share out and show others what great things are happening in our schools and classrooms. Using a cell phone or laptop to share out great examples of student work, highlights of some activity or event, awards won by various groups (not just including sports) and the great things that we see our students do every day, will greatly impact how people see our schools. We can make use of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (to name a few) to share out quick notes, images or even video that highlight the positives. We can share with the school, with parents, with the community and also with the world what makes us proud to be at this school.
I made it a point this year to try to help others share out the positives at our school using the hashtag #ameshighpride, and I plan on rolling this out to students soon. Our teachers have done a great job sharing out the many positives they experience and see so we will have a great start when we start encouraging students to use this hashtag as their own. We are modeling how we can use social media in a positive way and we will be able to help our students see this. When we are all using this hashtag to share the greatness that we see at our school, others will get to see it too. The press may be quick to jump at those negative things but we will be even quicker to jump at those positive things.