From the Archives: October

In three weeks, the voting in the 2020 Presidential Election will be over.  Hopefully, a winner will have been declared and we can move forward for the next four years.  This may be wishful thinking, but I truly hope we can move past rhetoric and divisiveness to address how to get our country and our schools back on track.

NAWD (National Association of Workshop Directors) sponsored a Zoom sharing session on Sept 15th on the topic – Connections, Community Building and School Spirit.  Ashlee Vaness from Liberty High School in Nevada opened the session with an outstanding presentation.  She focused on how she works with her school’s student in this most unusual of school years.  Ashlee tell her students it’s OK for this year not to be the same as last year.  She asks them to look at what activities have been done in prior years and then sort them into three categories – Stay, Shift and Shelve.  Activities that should be kept for this year go in the Stay column.  Activities that need to be modified for work in this year’s school environment go in the Shift column.  Activities that will not work this year and may need to wait until conditions change to try them again go in the Shelve column.  After the sorting of previous activities into these three columns, Ashlee asked the students to add a fourth column – Start.  New activities that address the needs of school and the why’s of the organization go into this column.  What a great activity to focus your students on what needs to do and can be done this year in a very positive manner.

This activity reminded me of the Evaluation – Short Form (attached) that I shared with advisors in 2015 at the State Conference.  It asks for feedback on the four key questions that are a part of all evaluations – what went well (Keep), what did not go well (Stop), what should be changed to make it better (Change) and what should we start doing (Add).

Another activity I have used with groups is “What Comes to Mind”.  This activity is set up by asking participants to share what comes to mind when the see some familiar corporate logos.  Companies spend millions of dollars cultivating their brand and their logo is a key part of the image they want to project. Participants are then asked to consider their school’s logo/mascot and share what comes to mind when they see it.  From these ideas, lists of what they (the school/group) is good at, what they could get better at and how they react to change are generated.  The activity closes with the participants looking what lies above the waterline when it comes to recognition and promotion and what lies below the waterline of recognition and promotion.  Moving items currently below the waterline too above the waterline can be a starting point for a positive PR program.  The handout from this activity and accompanying PowerPoint is attached.

As always feel free to contact me if you any questions or if you have a suggestion for a future “From the Archives” topic.  Stay positive and test negative!


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