Written By: Hans Appel
A month ago, we dove into the deep end of the technology world with the launch of our #AwardWinningCulture Podcast. Over the next year, I’ll be detailing specific ups and downs of this journey; while peppering key takeaways along the way. Our plan is to release 1 or 2 new episodes each month.
After extensive practice and conducting several student-led interviews so far, here’s some big picture early thoughts on fostering Student Voice through Podcasts:
**Students are capable of WAY MORE than we give them credit for. WAY MORE! I’ve been completely blown away by how much better they are at picking up podcasting techniques compaired to the adult educators involved. In fact, several of my student leaders had never even listened to a podcast and were making incredible suggestions and mind blowing ideas DAY ONE. This generation has grown up with social media and technology in such a way that their skills are malleable beyond belief. I look forward to highlighting our kids brilliant thoughts and insights this year.
**We’re not there YET. But, we’re improving EVERYDAY. By keeping centered on a growth mindset, we're all able to focus on incremental improvements with continuous and obsessive passion for getting better. I’m so excited to see where we are in a year from now but would NEVER want to skip over the JOY that we’re all having on the daily grind towards success. We’re coming for IT!
**There’s a learning curve to students getting accustomed to their voice: both literally and figuratively. Allowing practice time for students to listen, evaluate, and alter voice recording is critical. Tone, pitch, rate, etc. all play a role in how they sound. This can only be realized through personal observation of one’s own voice. Additionally, finding their own style and comfort level takes time. If your a regular subscriber to our show, you’ll see an incredible evolution of sense of self for these 12-13 year olds over the next 6-9 months. What a fun way to help foster self discovery!
Written By: Hans Appel
Years ago, a high level administrator asked us: “what’s the point of middle school?” At the time, it felt like an insulting question to a group bound together with the crazy singular purpose of teaching young hormonal minds and hearts. But at the the core of the question was: WHO is Enterprise Middle School? And maybe more importantly: WHY EMS?
What is your school about? What makes your building unique? How do you convey that message to your various stakeholders? What perception do students, staff, and community have about your school?
Branding refers to a name, term, decision, symbol or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from it’s rivals in the eyes of the customers.
We can all recognize uber popular brands like: Nike, Apple, or the LA Lakers. We’ve grown up on McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and Disney. Through the years, our world has been turned upside down with brand giants like Google, Netflix, and Amazon.
In recent years, there’s been an exponentially stronger push in public education to effectively brand individual schools and/or districts. Perhaps, this branding need is in response to negative public perceptions about education. Or maybe it’s correlated to increased numbers of private, charter, and independent schools. It could be that in some areas, there is increased competition for enrollment. While all of these may be factors, I think it’s most important because branding our school allows others to see the magic that we see everyday...
Branding isn’t just about school choice, it’s a way of creating a community and shared belief system for your school culture.
Award Winning Culture was created by Hans and Jennifer Appel with the sole purpose of creating an educational mindset of INTENTIONALITY; with a daily mantra to make our circle of influence stronger through Character, Excellence, and Community. Part of AWC's mission is to highlight outstanding educators, companies, and resources that support an Award Winning Culture. Both Jennifer and Hans work at Enterprise Middle School aka Wildcat Nation. Wildcat Nation received the 2018 ASCD Whole Child Award in Washington, for its award winning culture and the 2018 Global "Class Act Award" for Kindness.