Ten tips for finding a story in a school

In a school, simple summaries of events will always be sent your way by proud staff, like a football team win or a great academic achievement. But how can you dig deeper to find story topics that resonate with your brand, are unique to your community, and show a different side to the school everyone knows?

Here are my top ten tips for finding your special stories:

  1. TALK to people every day: teachers, students and parents. Find out what is happening.
  2. KNOW education. Do you know the difference between personalised learning and self-guided learning? What’s trending? Who practises this method in their classroom?
  3. VISIT classrooms to see learning in action.
  4. Discuss where CHALLENGES lie for the school, with senior management – stories can solve problems.
  5. Create OPPORTUNITIES for people to tell their own stories – let them know that the school’s social media sites are *their* platforms to share their ideas.
  6. TEACH people to tell their stories: share examples of good stories from other industries.
  7. Know your CHAMPIONS. Which staff are always innovating and willing to share with you?
  8. MOBILISE your students. Support the kids to produce manageable projects, such as ‘Humans of X School’.
  9. INVITE submissions to your inbox. Encourage staff to email or text photos when they are out of the school on excursions or camps.
  10. ACCEPT there will be quiet periods and use these to plan for the future by looking back and forward to old and new stories.

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