Seeking Input...Ask Your Customers

This week I posted the the following tweets:

These 2nd and 3rd grade students used some of their in-house currency or what we call "starbucks" to purchase "lunch with the principal" from our school store. While scheduling these lunch dates, is often a challenge, it is a challenge I am willing to overcome, every single time. It is so insightful, spending an uninterrupted thirty minutes of time with students, discussing, sharing and laughing about what ever it is that comes up. 

So, why do I eat lunch with students? Selfish reasons of course...

It would be easy to make a list, but the one reason that may go unnoticed is possibly the most important one. I am seeking their input. They are our customers. Through natural conversation, I have a series of questions I ask students, taking notes on the pro's, con's and changes that may need to be made. 

What is one thing you will miss the most about (enter grade level)?
What is one thing you are looking forward to in (enter grade level)? 
What do you want us to add or consider adding to our school/school assemblies?
What do you want us to remove or consider removing from our school/school assemblies?
What do you want me to know as the your principal?
What do you like the best about Sigler?

As I begin to brainstorm ideas or changes for the upcoming school year, I want our students to have a voice in the process. This is a start. I use them as a sounding board. 

What would you think about...?
What would you say if...?

The positives of seeking input...your customers or in this case our students, feel as if they have a voice. They feel as if they are being heard. The same can be said about the teachers when I seek their input. I know what our students are thinking. I know what they will miss. I know what they are looking forward to. I know what they appreciate and what they could do without. 

The drawbacks...if you consider criticism a drawback, (I do not) be prepared to hear the truth. Sometimes when I ask questions or seek input, I may not be ready for what I may hear. I need to get ready. I may not want to hear what they have to say, but if I listen carefully I will find opportunities to make our great school better and I can be come a better leader too. 

As you reflect on the current school year and begin to make plans for next year, seek input...ask your customers. Teachers, ask questions of your students and parents. Administrators, ask questions of your students, teachers, staff and parents. Ask them how you did. Ask them what you did well. Ask them what you can do better. 

Be sure you are seeking input...ask your customers. 

What was your moment today? 

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