William D. Parker is an experienced educator and school leader who brings insight on how leadership should inform all stakeholders on a school campus and in the wider community in this new book “Messaging Matters” published by Solution Tree Press.
This book offers practical and actionable advice for school administrators. However, any teacher or aspiring administrator can pick up this 138-page book and easily be done reading it cover to cover in a short period of time. It is full of best practices that focus on your school’s message and communication. Making it a good tool for someone well versed in communication or the novice looking to improve and build knowledge in this area.
As a classroom teacher I enjoyed the book as a way to analyze the kinds of communication happening in my own school and school district. I hope to use what I have learned to help build and shape the kinds of communication happening in my own classroom as well. Many of the ways in which Mr. Parker mentions communicating with stakeholders are methods already in use by my school or classroom. However, the value of reading this book is to see other ways in which educators are using the same methods. A read of this book means increasing your skills at using some of your current methods of communication but also introduces you to new and often successfully tried methods.
“Messaging Matters” includes practical ideas on how to communicate with teachers, students, and the community. Including building a newsletter, email list, using popular social media such as Twitter, Facebook and much more.
Mr. Parker begins his book by addressing the current status of school leadership in our schools. According to the Center for Public Education (2012), a finding that Mr. Parker lists in the introduction, the average school principal stays on the job for five years or less. Likewise, a school principal can often get caught up in the day to day managing of the school meaning the lasting impression given to students, teachers, and the rest of the community can often be overlooked.
By explaining what to do and how to do it “Messaging Matters” becomes an important manual for school leaders to sharpen and extend their communication skills. Each section of the book contains questions to help you reflect on Mr. Parker’s advice. In addition Solution Tree offers downloadable reproducibles featured in the book. Both of these features make the book ideal for book studies.
A school leader or leadership team wears many hats which can run these important people and groups in circles. Mr. Parker offers many stories from his experience that are simple yet wonderful hallmarks of good messaging. One bit of advice I like from the book is “how you serve others is often your greatest message of all.” Most interactions with others on campus is pleasant and positive. However, one negative incident can undo a school-year worth of positive messages. There are many stories in this book to help you learn this important lesson and then some.
One bit of advice I like from the book is “how you serve others is often your greatest message of all.”
Messaging Matters is available from the Solution Tree website for $24.95.