Something Good Happened at School Today, but That’s Not News.

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Good Things Should Be Recognized.  Especially at School.In the last few weeks, I have been following stories about different situations happening in schools. These have been all over the newspapers, websites, and television stations.

These stories have one thing in common. They contain nothing but bad news about education and educators. And I mean really bad news.

Bad news that makes you feel sick to your stomach. The same feeling you have moments before you get your class list for the new school year. The dread you feel as you make your way to the school mailbox.

The overall sense of despair that covers your whole body because you might find out that you have the worst kid in school in your class (again…he was held back… again).

And just to top things off, he had perfect attendance last year.

Why is it that those students have the ability to show up every day like clockwork?

Anyway, none of these stories that have been in the news shine a good light on education. They focus on the worst possible incidents. These things unfortunately do happen, but it is always a very small percentage of school employees and students who are involved.

The 99.999999% of quality people in education get lumped in with these few nuts. I know this is true because when I tell someone what I do; they invariably pull back in a combination of horror, sadness, and pity.

I refuse to even provide links to these stories because they don’t deserve any more publicity.

And you know who I blame? Not the newspapers, internet sites, or local television stations. They are in business to provide the news we will read and watch. Evidently this is what the public wants.

The media is more than happy to report on bad situations in schools and I think they should.

After all, these incidents are news. And when things happen in education it is always a bigger news story.

If an employee does something inappropriate, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law (or shot… in most cases I am okay with that).

When school districts or employees make these bad decisions they should have news stations reporting their stories. It’s not the media’s fault.

It’s ours. I blame us. Everyone involved in the running of schools on a daily basis needs to do a better job.

While we deserve a great deal of blame for letting these different types of situations happen in our schools, I think there is a larger issue at play.

Too often, the only publicity schools receive is the negative variety.

Schools have specialist to handle technology, coaching, scheduling, attendance, cleaning, cooking, and curriculum. Why don’t we have someone who specializes in publicizing what we do well?

Why are we not getting our positive messages across?

Why do we sit around and wait for newspapers and television stations to swarm us when something goes wrong? They always want to interview the principal or students when thing aren’t going well.

If the school refuses to talk, they find someone in the community who will (and for the record, usually not a person who had a good experience in school).

Why aren’t we more proactive in sharing all of the good things that happen in education on a daily basis?

Maybe I am naïve. Maybe no one cares about the good things.

Maybe there is a reason the local news always has a lead story involving a crime, or fire, or an accident.

I just think it is sad that they only thing some people know about schools and education is what they see on the news.

And it’s not good.

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3 Responses to “Something Good Happened at School Today, but That’s Not News.”

  1. Dave
    on Apr 20th, 2008
    @ 8:42 am

    I agree with your comments. Recently, I was uttering the same info. with a colleague about school’s and media coverage. Yes, the odd snippet appears in the paper about some positive event. Seldom do we see/hear about good news in radio/television. If there is a controversial issue -BAM!- it’s all over the media outlets.

    I guess we need to take control of our own ships and use media effectively. Education traditionally has not done a good job when dealing with media. We are now seeing communication people being hired in our school divisions as well.

    Add the title of “Communications Officer” to the role of the principal!

  2. Carolyn Foote
    on Apr 25th, 2008
    @ 9:01 pm

    Brilliant questions.

    We’ve been considering how we could have a part of our website that “celebrates” what we do well. One way to get the positive messages out is to convey them.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.