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Telling Your Story

Page history last edited by Jennifer Weaver 3 years, 4 months ago




“The mainstream media rarely shares the impactful work in schools that is actually making a difference in the lives of students.  Countless innovative practices that showcase student learning are never covered by the news. Specific achievements of staff and students might at best get a small sound bite in a local newspaper . . . Nothing frustrated me more than watching the media latch on to any negative education story and run with it while ignoring so much amazing work taking place in schools each day.  If you do not tell your story someone else will.  More often then not, I would say nine out of ten times, when someone else tells your story it is not the one that you want told.  My call to action this school year to all educators is to become the storyteller-in-chief.”  -Eric Sheninger, A Principal's Reflections, August 24, 2014




Best Practices


  • Have a strategy: What do you want people to talk about? Make sure all of your communications align with your school vision, goals, and communications strategy 
  • Target your message: Determine your intended audience(s) and choose communication tools appropriate for appeal and purpose
  • Be enthusiastic: Accentuate the positive and share good news regularly. Ignore trolls and controversies, but respond promptly to concerns and questions
  • Remember the little things: It's easy to celebrate an event.  It's much harder, but more meaningful, to share an everyday encounter with student learning
  • Welcome multiple voices: A story can be told from many points of view.  Include teachers, students, parents, support staff, and administrators in your communication strategy 
  • Focus on instruction: No matter what your communications strategy is, always connect your messages to student learning
  • Avoid "eduspeak":  Unless your audience is other educators, avoid education industry terminology or provide definitions when you do use them
  • Be accessible: Consider all members of your audience, including those with disabilities or those who don't speak English.  Are they hearing your story? 
  • A picture is worth a thousand words: Consider multiple modes of message delivery including photographs and video 


Additional Resources:





Good News Ambassador


The Good News Ambassadors program seeks to establish communications coordinators, or “ambassadors,” at each school. Their purpose will be to help support and foster the delivery of news and information to their school community


You can learn more about the role of the Good News Ambassador as well as procedures and expectations by visiting the Office of Communications intranet website.





Social Media Presence


  • Consider having a school presence on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram.  Choose one (or several) based on your intended audience and message.
  • A positive social media presence opens the door to opportunities and builds community and school pride.
  • Parents, students, and community members feel more connected with their school when they can interact regularly through social media. 
  • Make intentional decisions about who will post to the social media account(s), the frequency and content of posts, and guidelines addressing all other interactions (retweets, likes, favorites, comments, tags, hashtags, etc.)
  • Be sure to follow BCPS Policies and Rules including, but not limited to:





Additional Resources: 




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