(Note - This blog was originally posted on the Remind blog and I'm cross posting here!)
Using Chat in beta for the last two months has been amazing, and my mind has been running with so many different implementation ideas throughout my busy day as a principal. Smooth workflow is key to a principal’s success to help us focus on what’s most important — spending time with students and teachers!
Remind has raised the bar with their simplistic communication strategy and their announcement of Chat. Using Chat in beta for the last two months has been amazing, and my mind has been running with so many different implementation ideas throughout my busy day as a principal. Smooth workflow is key to a principal’s success to help us focus on what’s most important — spending time with students and teachers!
1. Office Hours
Schedule Office Hours for your community. School communication has changed – principals no longer (or they shouldn’t be) create six-page photocopied newsletters each week for the entire school. Keeping your parent community updated with Remind Announcements throughout the week is a great start. Having “open” Office Hours throughout the day is an extra layer of communication to ensure families are in-the-know. An informed parent community that’s connected to the school pays huge dividends! I’m starting with 6am-4pm office hours and will adjust as we roll out Chat at John Swett Elementary.
2. Safe and private communication
Chat is my new new safe and private phone number for our community. Parents no longer need my mobile number, they can contact me through Chat. You also don’t have to go through the headache of collecting every email address from parents. In addition, Chat has flagging features for appropriate language in every message, and a recorded message history transcript.
Our school website is robust, I tweet updates from our school account all day long, but questions still come up. Having parents be in touch with the principal during the day is golden! From chatting with my PTA President, checking in with teachers about different activities on campus and even connecting with my Office Manager, Chat was the missing piece to my communication tool belt.
3. Emails, all of those emails!
Encourage your community to utilize Chat instead of email. My mobile phone is always with me, which means I’m always available through Chat. For all of those quick check-in questions that can often times turn into a five paragraph email, your community will have to be more concise with Chat. Also, if you get the same question from more than a few parents, chances are you need to clarify with everyone. Chat is a great way to keep the pulse of your parent community throughout the day.
4. It’s all about mobile communication
As a mobile principal, I’m on my phone all day long, and most parents are as well. Reaching your parent community on their mobile phone is a must — it’s the age we live in, how we communicate, and how work gets done. The photo below is great proof that mobile to mobile communication is a must in order to reach parents and students where they are. Remind makes this happen, and Chat eases the communication workflow between school and home.
5. Many school-wide benefits
Check out the school-wide benefits of using Remind, implementation ideas and videos as well! I spoke about Chat at our monthly PTA meeting last week and parents are super excited to try it out. Stay tuned for my follow-up blog post as we implement it with the whole school community!
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