Empowering Communications

Center Student Values in Conversations with Parents, Faculty, Staff, and the Students Themselves

For SCHOOL LEADERS such as principals, assistant principals, deans, department chairs, and diversity coordinators

People who work in schools spend a lot of time communicating. Teachers meet with individual students to offer support, discuss behavior, or just talk about a topic that matters to the student. Faculty and staff members reach parents through formal and informal presentations, reports, and conferences—and parents sometimes contact school. Working in a school also entails communicating with one another, electronically and in person.

Regardless of how much teachers and staff members enjoy all this contact, what if they could make it more meaningful? What if every time faculty and staff members communicated with students, parents, or each other, they saw the conversation as an opportunity to empower students to make school meaningful? What if every presentation, website, report card, email, meeting, and conference put students’ own values at the center? Learn tools and strategies for:

  • helping students notice when their behaviors serve their values and choose values-consistent behaviors at school

  • turning school-to-home messages and family conferences into opportunities to help students make school meaningful

  • making discussions with colleagues more positive and productive by centering student values, working together to understand student behavior in light of their values, and support values-consistent behavior change

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© Lauren Porosoff and Jonathan Weinstein, 2019