Getting info from teaching staff for daily announcements

Students broadcast the daily announcements at their school on the first day of classes.

First, let me start by saying that I KNOW daily broadcast shows are time-consuming. They often aren’t even possible, depending on your resources. They can be a struggle with scheduling and student availability. They can look very different from school to school–some of us have full studios and deep programs. Others of us work out of closets. And, they take a lot of time, especially if they aren’t live and require editing after the anchors are recorded.

However, even in their simplest forms, they can have benefits. First, they can get a lot more eyes on your students’ work, which helps encourage them to keep their quality up and offers some passive recruitment for the program. The daily show can also be a unifying, common shared experience when most of our students have a good deal of choices when it comes to news and entertainment. Finally, the announcements get the info out that kids need to know, from tonight’s volleyball game location to when the Science Club plans to meet next week.

However, if you are starting up a daily or weekly show, there may be some concern about collecting all that information. Early on, I asked teachers to email me. As you might imagine, that doesn’t always work well. We’ve been working with a shared Google Doc for several years, and it’s simple and suits our needs. Here’s the process.

  • I set some ground rules with my staff members. When did they want the announcements so that they can write up their script? How often did they want an announcement repeated?
  • We wrote up the rules and created a shared Google Doc and shared it to the group list that includes all of our staff members (para, teachers, nutrition, custodial, admin and more).
  • I sent out the document via email with an explanation and followed up with a quick two-minute reminder before a staff meeting started.

It’s worked well since. Sometimes I need to add coaches who are not on the staff list, and periodically I’ll send out a reminder email, but for the most part, it magically fills itself up with little work from our staff or me.

Julie Tiedens

Julie Tiedens is a high school journalism and English teacher at Black River Falls High School, a school of 500 students in rural Wisconsin. She advises the student online newspaper, a daily announcements show, the yearbook and a PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs school site. Over the last two decades, one of her biggest goals has been to make her students better media consumers and creators. Another goal? Raise a son who loves the news just as much as she does.

Julie Tiedens has 15 posts and counting. See all posts by Julie Tiedens

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