Your work in the school office is vital for the smooth operation of your school. Principals and other head administrators count on you for the day-to-day business of getting students successfully through their busy days. The first few weeks back to school can be the gauge for how the rest of your year will be managed.
If your goal is to help lead your school into having its most successful year ever, you will want to plan well for your opening school weeks. Here are six areas in which a successful school office staff should focus to get to its goal. When these areas are properly prepared in these important first weeks, you can be sure that your school office is headed for a great year.
Have Information at Your Fingertips. A highly organized system that gives quick access to student information is the key to a successful school office. Whether your information is stored in metal cabinets or on computer hard drives, your goal should be to have it all readily available prior to the first day of school. Student information should be easily found without having to hunt through poorly formatted computer file directories, under stacks of paper, or through messy file cabinets. Cumulative files, legal documents, medical forms, emergency information, and other paperwork must be organized in such a way that no time is wasted in locating the document.
Run a Well-Oiled Machine. Prior to the beginning of the school year, formulate a work schedule and stick to it. Perform your office duties in a way that keeps the day flowing in an orderly fashion. Work on tasks that are pertinent to the specific time of day and leave the rest for its appropriate time. For quick access, open all computer programs that you will need that day. Your supply of forms should be well stocked and ready for use. Everyday student information, such as lunch choices and afterschool transportation, should be updated as necessary so that you have the current day’s information before you at the beginning of each day. Make use of every minute of your day for attending to the details of your school office.
Be a Hero to Your Teachers. When your teachers know they can count on you, they’ll become your partners in your goal of a successful school year. The first few weeks of back to school can put a lot of pressure on teachers as they not only deal with new students, but they interact with new parents as well. When teachers know that they can turn to you for office needs, they will then be able to concentrate on what they do best. Be sure to communicate the various tasks you are willing to perform, look at this site. Make an attractive office reference book and distribute it to your teachers. Decorate the faculty workroom so it is as pleasant looking as your own office. Your teachers should know from the start that you are ready to help them have a great school year.
Pamper Your Parents. In one sense, these are your customers. So treat them that way! Your goal should be to help parents feel welcome and be confident that their child is in a safe and secure place during the school day. This should be made evident during the first weeks of back to school. Make it a goal to know the names of every parent you assist. Return parent phone calls and email messages on the day you receive them. Carve out a specific time to respond to those non-urgent contacts. Say something specific about their child during a conversation. Parents have a lot to do, so allow your school office to make at least one aspect of their lives less stressful. When your parents are treated as the special people that they are, they will be more than happy to work with you in ensuring a successful school year.
Get Ahead of the Game. Use afterschool hours to prepare for a smooth morning. The busyness of the first days of back to school requires you to use your time well. Afterschool is the perfect time to deal with the paper shuffling, appointment scheduling, teacher requests, and other tasks that need not roll over into the next day. The old saying of “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” should be posted on every school office worker’s note board. Make it a prominent motto for this year and you will see an increase in your office work productivity as well as a decrease in your stress level.
Let Your Office do the Talking. Last but not least, make your school office a joy for students, parents, and teachers to enter each day. Keep your plants, flowers, and pictures fresh and colorful. A desk that is neat and free of paperwork can say more to a visitor than words. Your personal greeting and recorded messages should be friendly and inviting. Smile while you’re having a phone conversation because people can “hear” it! Spend time prior to the opening day of school to spiff up your office, and give the returning students something new to see on your desk. Your office décor should say to each visitor, “Come in, I’d love to help you.”
Share these tips with your fellow school office staff, and start your year with the same goals. Focusing on these six areas during your back to school weeks will help put your school on the road to a successful and rewarding new year.