This time of year we all, as administrators, want to have the best possible welcome back we can for our staff and our students. There is no magic formula for this and you can’t always predict success. You can, however, take a look at the climate of your school and make adjustments to your focus as it relates to student and staff culture.
I find myself today asking the following questions:
- Are the hallways of the building eye-catching? Do they make staff and students want to be here, or are they bland and traditional?
- Are there more areas where we can showcase student work?
- Can we brighten up the look and feel of the hallways? Can we put an emphasis on making all students welcome in our building, not just those that fit the ‘mold’ of jock/popular kid?
- Are we promoting a positive climate or perpetuating a traditional design that only those who ‘play the game’ feel welcome?
- What can I do with about 6 weeks until the start of school to change what we current have in place? My answers to the questions above tell me we need to make some changes.
I spent the week last week at the Jostens Renaissance conference in Orlando, FL. If you have never attended one of their conferences I highly suggest you do so. I have been a number of times and, at this point, feel that my mindset changed a little from this current conference. I have believed for a long time that with our Renaissance focus that we would reward and recognize students and staff for doing great things. We do this, in my opinion, still a bit to awkwardly. Renaissance is not just about recognition, you see its about culture and climate. The look and feel of a building is every bit as important as the recognition that students and staff receive.
So, I have work to do…time to get out the paint clothes and get moving on dressing up this blond bricked building. We have painted some stuff here and there, but it is time to make a BIG SPLASH.
What do you do to make them feel welcome? Send me some pictures if you don’t mind…I will post pictures of our work once it is complete.