Just think of Principal Ideas as a virtual show-and-tell for principals. Each week in the coming school year we'll present five new principal-tested ideas. Send in your idea today! See the sidebar to learn how to be part of Principal Ideas.
Rewarding Good Attendance
Students in grades 6 through 12 at our school are rewarded with a perfect-attendance field trip for each semester of no absences. It occurs at the end of the school year. We take the kids to a local state park for hiking and a hot-dog cookout. We also have "no-detention field trips" each semester. The first semester students in grades 6 through 8 go on a ski trip at a man-made ski resort in the suburbs. The second-semester trip is to a local water slide/mini-golf park.
Source: Denise Funfsinn, WANTED: Rewards, Rewards, and More Rewards!
Caught on Video
Oftentimes, new teachers are so involved in keeping a lid on things that they don't see the bigger picture. One thing can help a new teacher critique his or her teaching is to videotape a class or two so they can have an opportunity to watch their classrooms in action. That, combined with a mentor teacher's clinical observations of the tape, could be very helpful. Or video could be used for the new teacher's eyes only. The camera doesn't lie.
Source: Patricia Green and Michael Miller, Classroom Management: Principals Help Teachers Develop Essential Skills
Any Business -- Large or Small -- Is a Potential Partner
No school is too small to take advantage of business partnerships. Our school has a handful of community partners. Mimi's, a local restaurant, provides award certificates for students and, whenever we ask, it offers up to three dozen of its awesome muffins for parent or staff meetings -- at no cost to the school. We also have partnerships with Target, Office Depot, Albertsons, and Vons. When a customer mentions our school, a small percentage of the purchase is sent to us. Many small local businesses offer certificates for meals, ice cream donations, or small prizes when they are approached by me or one of our school's parent-helpers.
Source: Nancy Jenkins, "School-Business Partnerships That Work: Success Stories from Schools of All Sizes" (EducationWorld.com -- September 16, 2003)
Have you ever been to the dry cleaners and seen those racks and racks of clothing that must have been there -- unclaimed -- for years? Have you seen everything there from wedding gowns to military uniforms, from chefs' outfits to drapes? Ask your cleaner if he or she might donate some of the oldest of those unclaimed items to be auctioned off to fund school activities.
Source: "Fund-Raising Ideas: Raise Money Without Selling Door-to-Door" (EducationWorld.com, 1999)
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