Search form


Principal Ideas:Tips for Story Time, Saving Time, and More

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.

From Ed World's

School principals need to encourage regular teachers to do all they can to smooth the way for substitute teachers. One thing teachers can do is to provide an audiocassette that communicates insight about routines and students. If possible -- if you know in advance that you will be out for the day -- walk the sub through the plan for the day.

Source: Schools Respond to Substitute Shortage

PowerPoint Story Time

We hold a special holiday sing-along each year at our school. This holiday event always includes a read-aloud winter story. Because there are so many students, they won't see the book's pictures if I show them. So this past year we took digital pictures of the book and then placed those pictures into a PowerPoint presentation. The pictures were displayed on the wall as I read the book. This turned out to be such a great idea. No students talked during the reading because they were so impressed that they could all see the pictures on the wall.
Source: Michael Miller, Tech & Teaching: Principals Share Best Uses of Classroom Technology ( - January 10, 2005)

Address Labels Save Time

Before heading off to a convention, prepare in advance address labels with your name, school address, and email address on them. If you (or your teachers) do not have business cards, these address labels will come in handy when you want to add your name to a mailing list, sign up for a free publication, or enter a contest. Just stick a label to the card on which you register or sign up. You won't have to write the same information 100 times. And vendors will appreciate the labels too, since your typed label is bound to be more readable than quickly handwritten information.
Source: Before You Fly Off to That Conference Have You Thought of Everything? ( - March 15,2005)

Sparkle Day

Several years ago, we developed a district-wide VIP (Volunteers In Partnership) program. We now have a very active VIP group in most schools. Parents sign up to tutor, run papers, hang up bulletin boards Among the many activities that program spurred was this year's Sparkle Day, held at one of our high schools. Parents organized the whole event. Local businesses donated all kinds of items, students painted walls or murals, and many others helped with outside landscaping work and by repairing desks and equipment. Everyone contributed to make the school shine.
Source: Nancy Ondrasik, "Principals Share Parent Involvement ideas " ( -- February 28, 2000)

Video Game Room a Student Incentive

To raise funds, install a video game room in your school building. Open the room to students who achieve a specific GPA or to those who have perfect attendance or no behavior blemishes on their records. The room can serve as an incentive to students. And, of course, the school keeps the profits from the game room. (Alternative: Got old computers? Load them up with several games and -- voila! -- you have a game room without having to rent games from a vendor.)
Source: "Fund-Raising Ideas: Raise Money Without Selling Door-to-Door" (, 1999)


Join the Fun -- Share an Idea!

The ideas presented in this article come from the Education World archive and from principals just like you. Since these principals have been kind enough to "show and tell" an idea, now it's your turn! Share an idea you've used to

- Celebrate Students
- Welcome Students Back to School
- Motivate Teachers
- Involve Parents
- Raise Money
- Plan a Special Event
- Make Graduation Day Special
- Liven Up Your A.M. Announcements
- Plan an Effective Staff Meeting
- Get Some Good PR for Your School

or any other topic of interest to principals.

Send your idea today to [email protected].

Be sure to include your name, your school name, and your school address because if we post your idea in Principal Ideas, we'll send you an Education World mug!

Education World® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 2006 Education World