One day before our school year started, I was the only one in the office. The main school phone line rang periodically, and since the school secretaries weren’t in, I decided to answer calls.
I spoke with about 10 families throughout the day, answering back-to-school questions the secretaries would normally field and easing some confusion and anxiety. I realized that I enjoyed answering the phone – and I saw I could be helpful in simple, concrete ways. It gave me an instant connection with my students’ families.
Although this happened without advanced planning, I’d like to be purposeful about it going forward, and I thought this goal was worth sharing with fellow leaders: I plan to set up some open phone time, when I can be available to any families who have questions. I can use my Google Voice number to have calls go directly to me during set “office hours” periodically through the year.
It is my hope that I will earn a reputation for being accessible, so people will be comfortable seeking answers to questions or turning to me for help with a concern. Sometimes, it takes a big effort to reach and connect with our students’ families – and sometimes it can be as simple as picking up the phone.