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.
"Food and Games Night" for Kids and Dads
We instituted a food and games night for dads and their kids. After pizza and basketball are finished, we recommend books that fathers and kids can read and enjoy together.
Source: Stan Paine, Fathers in Schools: How Dads Make a Difference
Newsletter Kudos for Teachers
Praise teachers often in staff and parent newsletters. Keep a record of those notes of praise to be sure you are spreading around the recognition; and add to teachers' official files a copy of newsletters in which they are recognized.
Source: "Sixty-Five Ways to Recognize Teachers During Teacher Appreciation Week -- and All Year Long" (EducationWorld.com -- April 22, 2003)
During the first two weeks of school, I set aside time to have a meet-the-principal lunch with all the new students at our school. That is a nice way to get to know the kids who are new. The school counselor attends that lunch with me. We have a state map on the wall so the kids can point out where they moved from; if they moved from out of state we find that location on a U.S. map.
Source: Marcia Wright, "Schools Find Many Ways to Say 'Welcome Back'" (EducationWorld.com -- August 19, 2003)
Select a "Teacher of the Month." Set aside a special parking space close to the main faculty entrance that is marked with a "Reserved for the Teacher of the Month" sign.
Source: "25 Ways to Motivate Teachers" (EducationWorld.com -- November 19, 2002)
Parent Involvement That Works
Some of the ways in which principals can encourage parents to be active participants in their schools include the following:
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