My friends over in the Principals Masterclass (TJ Vari and Joseph Jones) taught an invaluable lesson on communicating with candor.
In that lesson, they gave three concepts to use when giving feedback. These concepts also apply to communicating to a broader audience.
Anchor. Focus. Align.
Anchor the story in the your team’s vision or mission. Have fun and share those seemingly “normal” parts of the day but make connections to the bigger picture.
Focus on what is working! Celebrate the little successes. Showcase how programs are impacting students. Highlight how teacher professional learning connects to real student outcomes. Feature the emotional and spiritual impact that daily practices have on students’ lives.
Align your story telling with the goals of the school. If the school is focusing on increasing college admissions, tell the stories of how you are getting there. If the school is focusing on developing richer language programs, share those stories.
The work of story-telling is a daily endeavor.
It’s also an incremental work. Piece by piece the story unfolds.
Step by step engagement builds.