Recently, I read an article by Simon Sinek (I love his blog and this video) talking about how advertisers are failing more to focus on the needs of their customer.
“The reason we hate advertising is because the ad industry has no idea who its customer is…”
This is sometimes my fear with education. Sometimes we forget that our “customer” (using that term for lack of a better word) are our students. Parents could also be considered customers in schools but I believe that if we want schools to become transformational, they will be included as partners in the learning process for their children.
Building upon Simon Sinek’s article, if we are to advertise our school solely on what our students need first, would the parents not ultimately be satisfied as well. How do we do this though? Coincidentally, on the same day I read Sinek’s post, Michelle Baldwin also wrote an excellent post about how we need to advertise the great things that are happening in our schools. She does not talk about anything complicated in promoting our schools, but has a simple plan:
1. Contact the media more often. Invite them to my classroom (again). Share, through multiple methods, what it is we’re doing.
2. Bring parents into the classroom more. The parents in my school are already welcome in my classroom, although not many of them take our offer to visit. I want them to share their expertise in my classroom more often.
3. Bring more attention to other teachers and students who are doing great things. Not every teacher has a powerful network where he/she can share successes. I have a great learning network of people who love to share ideas, collaborate, and celebrate with each other.
It would be imperative that we discuss these great things that are already happening within our school communities and how they are meeting the needs of students.
Ultimately, the best advertising for your school comes from your students. The word of mouth that comes from them can either make or break the reputation of a teacher, principal, or a school. I am not saying that we should go out and start selling our schools. Our time should be focused first and foremost on serving our students. If we focus on serving them first, the rest will take care of itself.