By: Richard Hayzler, Principal of Pequannock Township High School
There is no doubt that school right now looks different. Distance learning has caused students, teachers, administrators and parents to adjust quickly to a new set of routines, learning practices and social dynamics. One comes to realize the importance of the “little” things that make school enjoyable for the students, staff and community when everyone is apart from each other.
As an administrator I was looking for ways to reach our stakeholders and keep focused on the idea that we want “school” to be a place where students, staff and community members want to be because of the energy, enthusiasm and learning that takes place on a daily basis.
Morning announcements are something that jumpstart our mornings when we are in school. I decided to begin to put together morning announcements that provided some laughter, some learning and most importantly, a sense of normalcy during these uncertain times. Since March 13th when the Pequannock Township School District began our distance learning, I created a YouTube Channel and use our school’s Instagram and Twitter Accounts (@pthsnation) to send out announcements each morning with a focused theme.
Our district has been conducting spirit weeks each week to keep everyone engaged. My goal is to provide messages of hope, inspiration, motivation and Pequannock Township High School “Golden Panther Pride.” At this time “school” is not about a building. It is about the people. As school leaders we have a responsibility to live our excellence through encouraging, motivating and inspiring our students, staff and community to become more than they thought possible. If I can help start their day with a smile and a little learning, then they are well on their way to living their excellence too.
Principal Hayzler’s morale boosting messages include everything from movie clips and music to him donning costumes and singing. His upbeat and encouraging communications to his school community are enjoyed by hundreds of people every day. Some fan favorites are:
Secrets to Success: https://youtu.be/-nkQJi5EHyYc
Wellness Wednesday: https://youtu.be/IkANXVa5AyU
Pajama Day: https://youtu.be/vUW-jC-MspQ
Autism Awareness: https://youtu.be/Uyua78kSm1o
Tribute to our students: https://youtu.be/QNXGtJ1v_3E
Richard Hayzler is the Principal of Pequannock Township High School in Pompton Plains, NJ. You can follow Rich on Twitter @richhayzler and view his blog at richardhayzler.weebly.com.