Who Tells Your Story?
How do you tell your classroom story?
Once I hear you answer those two questions, I can tell you about the climate and culture of your classroom. There is always so many negative things coming out about teachers, schools, and classrooms it is our job as educators to kill the negative with all the positive things happening in our schools and our classrooms.
What are you afraid of?
After speaking with many educators typically there is something that scares teachers from telling their story. You are awesome and it is okay to brag and share what it is happening in your classroom. Educators tell me they are scared of failing while telling their story. What a better way to demonstrate to kids that is okay to FAIL other than showing them! Fail Harder is a mantra that I have and taught my students. Try! Try! Try Again!
I have found the following 10 resources a great way to communicate with my parents, community, and other educators to tell my school/classroom story.
2. Youtube- Youtube allows you to catch so many of the amazing things happening in your school on video. Any time we have some type of special event on campus, we shoot some quick video on our GoPro and then create a couple minute video. Then we upload it onto my youtube channel and share via social media. By the time a parent comes and picks up their child they have had the opportunity to see part of their day. Youtube also tracks how many people have watch your video and allows comments by subscribers.
3. Podcast- Podcasting like blogging gives you a voice, but it truly allows listeners to hear you. Next year we will be running a "Fly the Hawk Way" podcast with each of our classes. I will moderate the podcast and invite students from different classes to come in and share all the awesome things they are doing in the class.
4. Twitter- Twitter gives fellow educators and parents a window into your classroom and school. Educators can share awesome ideas through pictures on Twitter. I was at a meeting where I happened to run into the superintendent. She commented about how she loved that I have a 3D printer in my office. She hasn't been in my office to see it, but she is seeing the awesome things we are doing with it on twitter. Powerful place for connections.
5. Website- School websites are the face of your school and need to be treated that way! Too often websites are extremely outdated and filled with old content. Take the time to create teacher pages and maintain. Send out links to page frequently and make sure parents revert back to the website if they have questions.
6. Smore- Do you send out a newsletter to parents? If you don't, you should and you should use Smore. Smore is a digital newsletter that is extremely user friendly and allows to optimally customize the newsletter and collect analytics on who has read the newsletter and for how long. As you can tell I don't like using platforms that I don't know who is checking them. I like analytics for everything that I am putting out there.
7. Flipgrid- Flipgrid is a program that allows you to use video as a way of answering questions or posing questions. It gives a face to teachers and allows parents to decipher what you really mean and is extremely fun and easy to use.
8. Instagram- Instagram is another useful tool that allows you to showcase things at school and in your classroom. Many parents that are not on twitter are on Instagram.
9. Voxer- Voxer is an app that allows you to send voice and text messages to people all over the world without having their phone numbers. You can create groups on voxer as well as having individual conversations. Currently I belong to many different PLN groups and we meet via voxer. At any point in time I can pose a question on voxer and get many different responses without having to be on my phone. I can listen to those messages as I walk between classrooms. I give my voxer handle to parents, staff, and co educators.
10. Touchcast- Touchcast is a green screen application that allows you to create high quality videos with ease. When I arrived to my school announcements were done via the loud speaker, interrupting classroom time and making it hard for students to hear. This is when we switched to video newsletter that could be played when convenient for the teacher. We also have students record themselves on green screen giving reports with a pertinent green screen background. My son recorded his report on Thomas Jefferson with a background of how Franklin really looked.
Using these 10 resources have allowed to me to tell my classroom story and now my schools story. I challenge you to take charge of telling your classroom story and make it what you want.
Be the one that tells your story.