Donovan Group Insights

Make 2023-24 the School Year for Professional Development

The new school year brings new professional development opportunities. There are countless courses out there, many of which cater to one specific profession or another within your schools. While specialized courses are certainly important, your district should also offer course topics that are beneficial to everyone, namely communication.

Effective communication is critical to the success of each individual and your school district as a whole. By developing their communication skills, school leaders, teachers, staff and administrators are better positioned to carry out their job responsibilities—and, more importantly, create a healthy learning environment where students can thrive.

Make better communication a goal for the 2023-24 school year!

Why your team needs communication training

There are as many professional development opportunities as there are teachers, staff and administrators in your schools. Everyone from custodians to superintendents can benefit from professional development, with courses available that relate to each individual’s unique role in your district. Professional development courses are typically geared towards one group or another, such as training specifically designed for special education teachers or first-year educators.

However, there’s one skill every team member needs, and that’s good communication. Every teacher, paraprofessional, staff member and administrator would greatly benefit from professional development centered around communication, regardless of their role in the district. Effective communication, both internally and externally, sets up your team members for success and brings them closer to achieving your district’s mission.

Let’s unpack several reasons why school leaders, teachers, staff, paraprofessionals and administrators should sign up for communication training:

  • Every role involves communication: At some point in the day, everyone on your team talks to somebody. Teachers interact with their students in the classroom. Administrators hold meetings and send emails to one another. Secretaries greet students, visitors and families as they walk through the door. Good communication is critical for carrying out various roles, and communication training offers universal skills that prove useful in many different contexts.
  • Education is a collaborative effort: The success of your district isn’t riding on one person alone. In order to provide a quality education for students, your teachers, staff, paraprofessionals and administrators have to work together as a team. Effective teamwork stems from effective communication. Professional development courses about communication can help your team members function as one cohesive community, all to the benefit of the students.
  • Reporters can reach out to anyone: When an incident occurs, reporters typically turn to school leaders for information. However, they have also been known to contact teachers, staff and administrators to get their sides of the story. All team members need to be trained on how to properly respond to the media, so your district can present a unified story, maintain its solid reputation and avoid the spread of misinformation.

Available courses about communication

District communication is a broad subject that covers many different subtopics, all of which present an excellent opportunity for professional development. Below are just a few of the many communication training topics that are available to your school leaders, teachers, staff and administrators.

  • Marketing your schools and district: Professional development can bolster your marketing team’s ability to grow the school community. Through training, they can learn how to increase engagement levels among current stakeholders while attracting prospective hires and families to your schools.
  • Working with reporters: Communication training is necessary for building positive, mutually beneficial relationships with local reporters. School leaders can learn how to conduct a successful media interview and reach out to reporters with story ideas. Teachers, staff and administrators can learn how to answer questions appropriately and promote a cohesive district image.
  • Managing urgent and crisis situations: During an urgent or crisis situation, communication is everything. School leaders and administrators must be able to communicate quickly and efficiently. They must know who to communicate with, how much information to give, and who should receive that information first. Professional development can help you plan this out ahead of time, so if a situation arises, you know exactly what to do.
  • Leading with strategic communication: Communication training gives superintendents and building principals the tools they need to be strong, reliable leaders for their school communities. They can learn how to communicate effectively at every level, from sending a quick email around the office to preparing a statement for the public. Good communication is essential for gaining stakeholders’ trust and respect, as well as establishing your credibility.
  • Communication planning: If you take a closer look at your district’s communications, you’ll see that many of those messages can be planned far in advance. Courses in communication planning can help you and your team anticipate the district’s content needs, create that content ahead of time, then determine when and where you’ll share it with stakeholders.
  • Using social media to tell your story: Social media has quickly become one of the most effective ways to engage stakeholders. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are highly visual platforms, making it easy to post eye-catching graphics, photos and videos that tell your district’s story. Professional development courses are available that can teach your marketing team how to create engaging content and establish a consistent posting schedule.

Where to access communication training

You know your communications need to improve, but you don’t know where to start. If you want to learn more about communication, turn to the communication experts themselves! For nearly two decades, the Donovan Group has been providing professional development opportunities to school leaders, teachers, staff, paraprofessionals and administrators, all of which center around effective communication at every level.

Our courses are led by qualified professionals who specialize in a wide range of communication-related topics, which include the ones mentioned above plus many others. Your course instructor will tailor the learning materials and discussion prompts to your district’s specific needs, giving you access to an educational, fully customizable experience. We understand that no two school districts are the same, which is why we offer the type of guidance your district needs the most.

The Donovan Group offers not only a customizable experience, but a flexible one as well. Your teachers, staff and administrators deserve professional development opportunities that fit nicely into their daily schedules. After all, these courses are meant to help you do your job better, not get in the way of it! We give you the freedom to choose among various modes of learning, whether that’s virtual, in-person or a mix of the two, so you can pursue professional development in a way that works best for you.

Explore professional development at the Donovan Group

As districts head into the 2023-24 school year, their leaders must find ways to make this year better than the last. Professional development plays a big part in your district’s ongoing success, and if you’re trying to decide which courses to offer, communication should be near the top of the list. Good communication is crucial for every role, which means every person on your team has something to gain from communication training.

Kick off a great year of professional development with communication-related courses from the Donovan Group. Our courses are flexible, customizable and led by experts who specialize in school district communications. Get in touch today to book a course!

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