abstracted from “Communicating with Your Principal” by Mary Alice Anderson Multimedia Schools, November/December 2002 http://www.infotoday.com/MMSchools/nov02/ anderson.htm

To run a successful technology program, school media specialists must open up a clear line of communication between themselves and the administrators who hand down the decisions. This article provides nine suggestions for how ed-tech professionals can get school leaders in their corner.

• Broadcast achievements. According to the author, principals especially like to hear about big-picture success stories and other accomplishments that present the school in a positive light.

• Show them you’re important. Make sure administrators know the role that school media programs play in student achievement, especially where technology is concerned.

• Document successes. When administrators ask how the program is going, you’ll be able to provide hard proof of its progress.

• Take advantage of opportunities. When a parent or principal asks for information about the program, take the time to explain it carefully and advocate its advantages.

• Be proactive. Don’t wait until someone approaches you. Instead, maintain informal communication with administrators via eMail and other methods to keep them informed.

• Anticipate the best time for announcements and information. According to the author, it’s best to avoid adding to the chaos by choosing those times when an administrator most likely will have time to respond.

• Keep it simple. Don’t assume administrators know what you are talking about. Always explain yourself simply when addressing a specific issue or program.

• Use technology to make your proposals shine. Use the tools at your disposal to create professional-looking documents or videos that address your initiatives. Technology also can be used to solve problems, correlate research, and display information.

• Maintain professionalism. Don’t make errors in your presentations, and study your data before you present them.

“Communication can become powerful when it is focused on actions that have been well thought out. Through this advocacy on behalf of kids, we can move to the center, instead of being pushed to the periphery. Make the 15 minutes your principal spends with you the most informative part of his or her week,” the author said.