We got a great scenario from a podcast listener who needed to introduce herself to her new staff as principal. She said she was stuck between knowing exactly what to do and also being "paralyzed with indecision" about her first introduction. Here are our top three tips:
1. Write a more formal letter: Format your initial email into an actual letter with attractive graphics and attach it to the email rather than just writing it in the body of the email. Include both professional information and personal information so your staff gets to see both sides of you right from the start. Include a picture of yourself so staff can connect a name and face, and you can include a picture of your family if it feels appropriate. Keep this letter to one page. An example Christy sent to her new staff recently is at the bottom of this post!
2. Make the
introduction 2-way: Introducing yourself means also giving staff the chance to introduce themselves. Schedule 1:1 or small group meetings with each staff
member. We have made these optional in the past as not to overwhelm staff, but you'll be surprised by the response you get - most people will sign up! This is your chance to learn the history of the building and t
he current perceptions of reality to see how you fit into this culture and community that existed long before you arrived. You can include the link for scheduling a meeting in your initial letter! Don't forget to have your future staff share their favorite drink for you to bring them!
3. Plan for continued introductions: You have an entire year to introduce yourself to staff at your new school; it's much more than your first letter or meeting. Think through what you want staff to know about you over the course of the year and how you'll share it through meetings, emails, writing, interactions, socials, etc. How will you continue getting to know your staff throughout the year? Be intentional and make a plan!
Remember, silence also creates a story. Be YOU, and share YOU!