Many principals these days use blogging to reflect, share, and highlight the great things going on in their schools. Blogging is an innovative way to give families and the community even greater insight into a principal’s mindset, priorities, and personality. It helps build even deeper connections.
However, blogging can be so much more than just extended thoughts in writing. Consider the following three creative ways to use the principal’s blog:
The Online Faculty Meeting is an idea I have shared before. On my blog, I have leveraged video and other media to connect with our staff at a time and in a location that is convenient for them. We still have in-person faculty meetings most months, but this year we have designated a handful of months for online-only meetings. All of the professional learning content is housed in a blog post that I publish and share with the staff. Every staff member is accountable to view/read the content; then they mark their “attendance” by commenting on the blog.
- Every staff member has a voice in the meeting. At in-person meetings, few people speak up.
- The content and conversation are publicly visible. This means students, families, and communities can see what we are learning and what we value.
- Staff members continue to praise the benefit of accessing the content at their convenience.
A Community Book Study is another great way to use the principal’s blog. At my previous school, we did a communitywide reading with Dr. Michele Borba’s Unselfie. I assigned the reading to our staff and community in advance, and then we used Dr. Borba’s discussion questions (provided in the book) to engage in discussion via the blog.
In today’s fast-paced world, it is difficult to get families in the building consistently for a book discussion; however, if we meet our busy families where they are and afford them opportunities to interact on their own time, we stand a better chance of consistent participation.
Article Talks/Video Talks for Professional Learning Credit are an easy way to help teachers and staff obtain required professional learning hours (or engage them in professional learning tied to their self-articulated goals) in a way that is meaningful to them and tied to campus priorities.
I have been known to post an article, a TED Talk, or something else compelling and allow staff to comment on it for optional professional development credit. Sometimes teachers comment just because they are interested, even if they do not need the hours. However, if we can give teachers time or credit for working on something that is of interest to them and tied to campus goals, isn’t that a win-win?
I would love to know some creative ways YOU are using your principal’s blog. Please comment here and share your great ideas. We are better when we learn together!
Carrie Jackson is the principal of Northwest High School in Northwest ISD—Justin, TX. Carrie was named an NASSP Digital Principal of the Year in 2013 and has been actively involved in leadership with NASSP and TASSP for many years. She currently serves as the Texas Association’s immediate past president. Follow her on Twitter @jackson_carrie.