Layoffs, budget cuts, large class sizes and the news media’s war on education means morale is plummeting for school employees. How can PR professionals change the conversation, and demonstrate the many ways teachers continue to go the extra mile?
Facebook is a tool you can use to publicly celebrate, reward and appreciate teachers and staff across the school district. Here’s how:
1) Tell a story: Give parents, students and staff a glimpse of some of the magic moments happening in your classrooms. Shine a light on an amazing turnaround story about how a teacher helped a single student or a group of challenged kids succeed. Describe the innovative projects teachers use to engage students in learning.
2) Post award nomination links: Give parents, students and educators the chance to nominate teachers and staff for awards, and watch the number of employees who win recognition build. From radio station and bookstore contests to professional associations, a win for any staff member makes them all stand proud. In addition to that, you’ll draw Facebook tributes from current and past students of the honored teacher.
3) Showcase moonlighters: Do you have staff members with hidden talents? The campus monitor who wrote a mystery novel? The history teacher who climbed K2? The counselor who’s a professional photographer? The dragon boat team from the payroll department? Post photos of them in action, and tell the back story even their co-workers don’t know.
4) Announce appreciation weeks: Take advantage of designated weeks to celebrate classified, certified and administrative staff, as well as school board members, school nurses, volunteers and secretaries. Ask fans for examples of how they are celebrating these events in their school, or ask them to share how one of the week’s honorees was a special help to their child. Remember, you can’t say thank you enough, especially now.
5) Show staff you’re listening: Likely, a good number of your district’s Facebook followers are employees. When you get them engaged in a conversation around a proposed change, show them you’re listening. Answer their questions promptly, and let them know you’ll forward their ideas, concerns and suggestions directly to district leaders. Then take what you learn and use it in your internal information campaign.