As a Generation X, some of the music that I listened to in college were bands like Pearl Jam, Hootie and the Blowfish and my personal favorite, Sister Hazel. My favorite Sister Hazel song is one called Change your Mind. A line that always stuck with me was “If you want to be somebody else . . . Change your mind”. So other than giving you an insight into Nick, what does this mean for you, the incredibly busy school principal who has a million priorities and not enough time?
One of the things that is challenging when I start working with a client is to get them over the hump of realizing that some of the marketing and recruiting efforts that they have been doing in the past just aren’t working. They know they aren’t, but it can be a struggle to change. We all know the quote, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result” which is usually attributed to Albert Einstein. But, yet it is easy to fall back into our comfort zone, even when we know we need to change.
I recently read two articles that I wanted to share with you that I think are worth the read. Both of them talk about a mindshift that educational leaders need to embark upon to address the new reality of our environment.
The first article is from TrustED entitled, What Shark Tank Can Teach America’s School Leaders It is a pretty short read and I encourage you to read it, but if you don’t have the time, basically the article helps explain that there are many lessons that school leaders can glean from scrappy entrepreneurs. Something that is not widely appreciated by people outside of education, is that school leaders are entrusted with running multi-million dollar businesses. I know that some people get repelled by the argument that schools need to run more like a business, but there are some fundamental business processes that any organization needs to employ like; seeking customer feedback, learning from what others are doing, and focusing on long term growth. I think you will like the article.
The second one is from the New York Times titled Who needs charters when you have public schools like these? Now before my charter school friends get upset, this is not a charter school bashing article. But rather, it contains some very interesting ways that a poor public school district in Oklahoma was able to create a truly effective educational model. The superintendent challenged a lot of the common processes for the school to create a more engaged and community focused model. In doing so, test scores went up, graduation rates now exceed the state and discipline problems went down. And they did this on a limited budget. One of the great quotes in there that I think sums it up is, “The truth is that school systems improve not through flash and dazzle, but by linking talented teachers, a challenging curriculum and engaged students”. I think that every school can use that lesson regardless of your model.
So just a couple of articles that I came across that I wanted to share. I hope you all are doing well and that your recruitment is going well for the upcoming school year. I am always happy to get on the phone if you would like a free 30 minute consultation on your marketing efforts. Also, I will be at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools in DC in a couple of weeks. If any of my readers are there, I would love to meet up with you and maybe share a coffee or a drink of a more adult nature.