Last week I tweeted out the following:
I never realized just how powerful this could be until I spoke with one of the most talented educators I know, an Administrator in our district, Brad Kuhn. Brad had the foresight to recognize that FreshGrade could be utilized to build positive relationships with students and families. I have never been an Administrator of a school but I can only imagine how complicated it must be to build quality relationships with students and families when our buildings are so vast. Brad saw his opportunity with FreshGrade and used it in three powerful ways.
Discipline and dealing with questionable student behaviour are inevitable parts of the job when you are an Administrator. Brad, like other Administrators, had students that he met with on a regular basis when the topic of conversation was often around behavior concerns. That’s when he saw how FreshGrade could be leveraged to build relationships. Brad approached his teaching staff and asked that they invite him to their student portfolios so that he could connect with students in a positive way. Each week Brad purposefully set aside time where he would go into the portfolios of the students who were visiting his office most often and make positive comments relating to their learning. This proactive approach paid huge dividends. Quite simply, there were less students that needed Brad to support them with making positive choices. As a result, Brad now had additional time to get into classes and engage with students.
Another opportunity Brad saw with FreshGrade was to use it to advocate for students who at the time might not have anyone to do so for them. Brad simply added these students to his list and ensured that every so often he added a comment to their portfolio on just how proud he was of the progress they were making with their learning.
Lastly, Brad was able to engage with students and their families while on supervision. These are conversations that he may have never otherwise had if he was not connected to them on FreshGrade.
These three examples show how powerful a tool like FreshGrade can be for Administrators to build relationships and change the narrative from one that is reactive to one that is proactive.