As the 2021-22 school year begins ramping up, this can be a great opportunity to build connections that support a strong network for your school and gain visibility in the local community through sharing your school’s mission and purpose. Schools are intrinsically tied to their surrounding areas, with both teachers and students playing a key role in empowering the voices that are creating change locally as well as in prioritizing initiatives that are important to the community as a whole.
A powerful tool in facilitating how you share your school’s “why” is social media, because it allows for communication at any time and reaches a large audience that might not otherwise be accessible. Read on to discover three ways in which you can leverage social media to share your school’s story and start the school year strong.
1. Amplify teacher voices.
Teachers and other faculty in your school can be some of the best resources to utilize when trying to reach a larger audience in your community. Encourage your teachers to be creative when posting new lesson plans or learning activities on social media because it can be a fun way to give their audiences a sneak peek into the hard work that goes into creating their engaging classroom environments.
While it is important for your school’s social media accounts and website to be consistent in sharing the message of your school’s purpose and mission, teachers offer another perspective to the public by connecting the school’s “why” to their own personal “whys,” which can be incredibly impactful when trying to reach more community members. Here are a few tweets from our partners that highlight teacher stories:
— Kannapolis City Schools (@KCS_NC) July 26, 2021
Modeling during professional development for our Spanish #immersion teachers! @PollyGlotPress @orosiacortez @ParticipateLrng @UCPSNC @AGHoulihan @IreneZamoraSoto pic.twitter.com/8qE7Ey4Tvd
— College Readiness (@UCPSCollegePrep) August 12, 2021
2. Involve students.
Involving students in school social media initiatives can be another way to share your school’s story while also incorporating technology in a fun and stimulating way. Posting individual, class, or school-wide projects on social media gives authentic insight into how students are connecting the universal concepts they are learning from course content to their local areas. And of course, always be sure to follow best practices when including students in photos.
For younger students, maybe they can work on a creative art or science project that can then be shared through their teacher’s social media account to demonstrate how they applied their knowledge in a hands-on way. Older students who might have their own accounts can participate through tagging friends on community boards or posting about school fundraisers or events. Check out this post that shows how dual language students in Dare County are engaging with their target language:
An awesome morning at @ManteoElem! Always impressed by the tasks our #DareDualLanguage scholars are involved in. Shout out to our incredible teachers, instructional assistants and students. @Daretolearn_DCS pic.twitter.com/tRm5BhKGWm
— Johanna Parker (@johannajparker) March 10, 2021
3. Collaborate with your community.
Once you start a foundation of connecting with others on social media within your school network of teachers, administrators, and students, then you can begin to connect with the local community directly. School projects and community initiatives can go hand in hand and be a mutually beneficial effort that is educational for all involved.
Identify areas in your community that need support. Is food scarcity prevalent? Start a school-wide food drive around the holidays or have students work on a community garden. Are the arts lacking? Have students fundraise with the community to paint a meaningful mural or connect with local theater or music groups that can guest-speak in your school. No matter the project, the lesson of being an active and participatory citizen for students is invaluable.
Check out some examples on Twitter of how schools can collaborate with their communities:
A big thank you to @ParticipateLrng, @DareCASA, and @PierceGroup1 for providing $15,000 in donations to the #DCSBookMobile! We were able to purchase brand new books to give out to K-8 students on Tuesdays during Meal Distribution at each site. pic.twitter.com/p5gPzW2Pvf
— Dare County Schools (@Daretolearn_DCS) April 28, 2020
What an amazing display of generosity! The Fields family and Waxhaw families surprised our new Dual-Language Immersion (DLI) teachers and their families with an entire garage full of furniture and supplies, including dining room sets, bedroom sets, etc. @aghoulihan #teamucps pic.twitter.com/qEFKlioDVJ
— Union County Public Schools (@UCPSNC) August 4, 2021
At Participate Learning, we believe that expanding young minds and opening our world to students begins in local communities. How are you amplifying your school’s story to the world? Share with us on Twitter by tagging us @ParticipateLrng or using the hashtag #unitingourworld. For more social media inspiration, connect with us here.