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.
In an effort to involve fathers, we planned a building project where fathers helped add improvements to the school gym. The informal setting contributed to serious discussions about children. I was cutting two-by-fours with a dad, and we got to talking about his daughter.
Source: James Lewis, Fathers in Schools: How Dads Make a Difference
Business Cards for Teachers
Make staff members feel special and professional by purchasing business cards for them. If such a purchase is not in your budget, enlist the support of your art and technology teachers to use school computers to design and print cards.
Source: "Sixty-Five Ways to Recognize Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week -- and All Year Long" (EducationWorld.com -- April 22, 2003)
A Welcome-Back Letter to Kids
If a new principal wants to get the year off to a successful start, I would suggest writing a letter to the students, not the parents. Talk about yourself, your family -- including your pets! -- your interests or hobbies, and, most important of all, your vision for the children in the year ahead. Be sure to add a P.S. that says "Please remind your parents of these important dates," and list events such as Back-to-School Night and the date class pictures will be taken.
Source: Debbie Levitz, Great Starts: Veteran Principals Offer Opening Day Tips
Don't Miss the Bus
On the days after the first day of school, I make a point of riding the school bus. That is important because our school takes in a large area. I ride each bus once during the first month of school. I get to see where students live, and doing this gives families an opportunity to see and meet me in their neighborhoods.
Source: Doug Fiore, "Schools Find Many Ways to Say 'Welcome Back'" (EducationWorld.com -- August 19, 2003)
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