Being a campus administrator can be a daunting task, yet a rewarding one. When a school year begins with enthusiasm and an accurate vision, half the task is solved. While no one can truly know the twists and turns in a school year, there is one thing that remains constant in education: high standards in performance. Inspiration in an opening message to faculty can be the key to achieving such expectations. Teaching and learning have no limits when inspiration is an integral part of these processes. The most difficult part is knowing how to inspire others.

Beginning the year with the right words to rally a faculty is essential. Sharing a simple message that guides and inspires teachers and staff is a powerful contributing element to a successful year. How is this achieved? One strategy that has shown evidence of success for “rallying the troops” is using carefully chosen quotations. Quotations can provide a focus and a motivation to staff. These simple, yet powerful words can help teachers understand that they are not alone, that shared responsibility is key, and that their daily instruction will change the future.

Quotations can provide a focus and a motivation to staff.

In an introductory message to staff, quotations can convey that this year is going to be exciting! Use your words to build morale among faculty, create momentum for the tasks ahead, and set a positive tone for the upcoming year. Explain this is a new year, another opportunity, and we will work to make it successful. Instill the belief that we will succeed. Share, “Our world is changing, and so shall we. If one technique doesn’t work, there are others we can try. We must be willing to seek alternatives to improve instruction and learning, so we grow as the resourceful educators that we are.” A few quotations to focus, motivate, and encourage staff at the onset of the year might be:

  • We can’t wait for the storm to pass. We must learn to work in the rain. – Peter Silas
  • Learning from a teacher who has stopped learning is like drinking from a stagnant pond. – Indonesian Proverb
  • Teachers are the architects of the future. When they teach one child, they touch future generations forever. – Unknown
  • Dare to help every child excel, for it is only then when you have dared to be the very best educator you can be. – Sylvia Hooker

These quotations may be used in an opening message or during small group discussions. Questions to involve teachers in group conversations might include: What does this mean to me? What can I do to make this happen?

Extend the rallying message throughout the year at meetings. Use quotations in weekly memos, newsletters, meetings, school displays, and assemblies. Categorize topics that relate to overall achievement of the campus goal (e.g., success, teamwork, confidence), and search for quotations that have connections. Remember, quotations can stimulate discussions, provide recognition, lift energy levels, promote team-building, engage conversation, or make a point. In conclusion, quotations ignite staff and students, promote a positive culture, and encourage school spirit. When teachers and students are inspired, great things happen!

Use quotations in weekly memos, newsletters, meetings, school displays, and assemblies.