Strategy sessions are designed to meet schools exactly where “they” are at. They must be performed in private without a group setting so that the specific details that are unique to that school can be addressed. There are varying circumstances that can occur depending on the challenges and needs of the school. There are also unique strengths and weaknesses amongst staff and students and a lot of time can be saved by customizing what “that school’s staff” need to learn right now, given who they are, how they think, and what resources do they have immediately available to start moving their students on to an even better path to success.
A strategy session for administrators can range from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours at the most. These sessions are directly designed to identify the existing areas of concern in the school, how much intervention is required for a growing problem, and how much prevention is desired to avoid a problem if one as not already started. This session is meant to outline the measurable action steps an administrator can take to implement a “cultural and environmental enhancement” to the school. An environmental enhancement can be accomplished with a few astonishingly simple measures that fit well with in existing school policy.
This type of remarkable and positive change is relevant only to administrators as authority and power do come “from the top down” and the rest of staff will need to be directed as to what to do and how to do it.
A strategy session for guidance counselors can last 15 minutes to 1 hour. These are quick because of the strong background in student psychology the counselors have. The session is meant to immediately determine the “culture” in the school. We then discuss whether the counselor wants a targeted approach to a group of students or would like to see a school wide approach. Should there be a desire for a school wide approach we can determine the most enrolling way to approach the administrators for their necessary support.
To be perfectly clear, a speech or live seminar is the only way to impact the staff enough to give them the tools to impact the students. Speaking to the students as a whole is the only method to kick start a major change in attitude and motivation.
Not to sound negative but Tom does not believe one person can make a difference. Yet a whole herd of people all moving in one direction at one time can be difficult to stop. Therefore a speech and presentation is the “only way to go” when addressing a school’s desires.
Tom’s presentations and inspiring speeches “break the ice” for administrators when introducing some new changes to the staff, and they also “break the ice” to the students when the staff begin to implement the new “environmental changes” in the school.
What Tom has done with many other schools is work within their budget as much as possible. Tom respects that there is a need and the government has made resources scarce to fill that need. So when there is a short fall between the investment price and what the school can responsibly spare, then Tom works with that school to get additional funding.
Additional funding can be done through community grants which are numerous and only a good fit for large speaking projects. The majority of the time local service clubs like Rotary and Lions can make the necessary donation. Sometimes local businesses have been enrolled in exchange for great exposure to their business from a popular community event that had lots of advertising.
Having a parent seminar hosted by the school is what becomes a large speaking event, and historically has always made the local newspaper and radio stations. These are the events that produce the large amount of advertising that can be exchanged for sponsorship dollars.
“Wow! And thanks again for coming out to Oilfields School. Students and parents are still talking about your presentations.
The one parent actually commented that she had the most engaging "after school" conversation she's ever had with her son
after your presentation. Also, feel free to pass my name on if any school groups would like to "ask around" before booking you."
Oilfields High School,
Black Diamond, Alberta