Are you mindful of what message your verbal and nonverbal communications are sending? In a psychological context, being mindful simply means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and environment in the moment. Studies have shown that mindfulness promotes well-being. More importantly from a communications perspective, mindfulness gives you greater ability to control what you do and say at a given moment, which can significantly impact the success of your communication efforts.
In today’s technology-driven world, we have the ability to communicate and connect universally, with seemingly unlimited access to content and digital learning. For educators, technology has opened up exciting, innovative pathways to collaborate, engage, and personalize learning for students, many of whom have grown up with smartphones, laptops, and social media a daily part of their lives. However, all of this change can be overwhelming. How do educators effectively use digital technology to support teaching and learning? In a crowded market, what are the best resources available to engage students and connect with colleagues? How do educators navigate concerns about data privacy, participation in social media, and the legitimacy of online content?
Unlike Las Vegas, what happens at school does not stay at school, and nor should it! In today’s ever-changing education landscape, it is more important than ever for education leaders to communicate with teachers, students, parents, and communities and share stories about what makes their district or school a great place to learn.
These days, districts have a growing number of priorities and multiple ways to reach stakeholders. It can be challenging to find the time to focus on building an effective communications plan and determine how to reach out, when, and what the message should be. We’re excited to congratulate Dr. April Domine, superintendent of New Albany-Plain Local Schools (OH), who is getting it right—making great strides to communicate to her school community. Dr. Domine was recently selected by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) to receive the 2014 Bob Grossman Leadership in School Communications Award. How can school leaders best engage educators, parents, Board members, students, and other stakeholders around the important roles they play in increasing student success?
As more teacher evaluation systems across the country rely on student academic growth to gauge educator effectiveness, there has been an increase in dialogue and debate around the appropriate design, implementation, and use of value-added measures (VAMs). Most recently, U.S. News & World Report published a summary of new research from Morgan Polikoff and Andrew Porter under the headline Report Finds Weak Link Between Value-Added Measures and Teacher Instruction. The article attracted some attention, but there are a few key issues to clarify about the summary and the actual research referenced in the report.