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10 Ways Administration can be More Visible to Students

There’s something about seeing leaders in person and connecting with them that brings comfort and confidence. School administrators should be more visible to students because it can improve communication and trust between students and administrators. 

When school administrators are present and accessible, students are more likely to feel comfortable contacting them with questions, concerns, and ideas. This can lead to a more collaborative and inclusive school environment where students feel heard and valued. Here are ten ways your school administration can be more visible to students.

1. Develop Trust and Rapport

School administrators should prioritize listening to student feedback and concerns and taking action to address them. Following through on student feedback will build trust in the school administration, which can inform decision-making and improve outcomes for everyone.

2. Encourage Student Engagement

To foster engagement, school administrators can provide opportunities for students to share their opinions, participate in decision-making processes, and take on leadership roles within the school community. This can include creating student councils or advisory boards, holding regular town hall meetings or open forums, and involving students in school-wide initiatives and projects.

3. Utilize Social Media 

Administrators can also leverage technology and social media to connect with students and share information and updates in a timely and accessible way. 

By prioritizing student engagement, school administrators can cultivate a sense of ownership and investment in the school community among students, which can positively impact their academic success, well-being, and overall satisfaction with their educational experience.

4. Build a Positive School Culture

A visible administration helps create a safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environment that fosters academic and personal growth for students. Administrators can set the tone for the school by modeling behavior that emphasizes respect, empathy, and accountability. You can promote a culture of diversity and inclusion.

5. Recognize Problem Areas

Within these three common problem areas, a visible administration can make a lasting impact:

  • Take proactive steps to support mental health with access to counseling services, mindfulness and stress-reduction techniques, and open communication. 

  • Promote safety by implementing policies and practices prioritizing student safety, such as anti-bullying initiatives and emergency preparedness plans. 

  • Support equitable education by providing resources and support for students from underrepresented groups, implementing culturally responsive teaching practices, and ensuring access to resources and opportunities for all students.

6. Adopt an Open-Door Policy

Problems shouldn’t be swept under the rug or scheduled out weeks in advance. By maintaining an open-door policy, administrators can create an environment where students and parents feel comfortable discussing concerns, sharing feedback, and seeking guidance. 

This can lead to improved communication and understanding between all stakeholders, which can help to address issues early on and prevent escalation. 

7. Attend School Events Often

Kids know who shows up for them. When administrators attend athletic competitions, theatrical performances, and academic showcases, they can interact with students, teachers, and parents more informally. This helps break down barriers and create a more relaxed and approachable atmosphere, making it easier for students and parents to connect with school leadership.

8. Walk Around Campus

The more students see you around, the more willing they are to turn to you in an emergency. Administrators can observe firsthand how the school functions, identify areas of improvement and engage with students and teachers. This can help to create a more approachable and collaborative culture, as well as increase trust and rapport between administrators and the wider school community. 

9. Conduct Student and Staff Surveys

If you really want to know what’s going on behind the scenes, ask. Student surveys can identify areas of strength and weakness in the school, provide feedback on specific policies and practices, and inform decision-making at the school and district levels. 

Conducting student surveys can also help tailor educational programs and services to meet unique student needs. They empower students by giving them a voice and a platform to share their opinions and concerns, promoting a sense of ownership and investment in their education.

10 Collaborate with Student Groups

By working with student groups and organizations, administrators can create a culture of collaboration and partnership that values the contributions and perspectives of students. This can foster a sense of ownership and investment in the school community. Collaborating with student groups and organizations can also provide valuable insights and feedback on policies and practices, help identify improvement areas, and promote innovation and creativity in addressing school-related issues. 

Written by John Jones
Education World Contributor
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