Marie Lum is an animator who has 47,800 followers on twitter. (Take a moment to consider that potential level of influence – as a comparison Mark Scott, Secretary for NSW Department of Education which employs 49,000 teachers, and is the former head of the ABC, has 122,000 followers). On February 16 2018 Marie asked her followers the question “What’s something a teacher did that still makes you mad?” She had over 6,000 comments. Plenty of people had plenty to say about the negative role of teachers. 

The next day she asked the question “What is something a teacher had done that you still appreciate?” She had 319 comments. The contrast in volume is interesting. Bad news and negative stories were almost 20 times more likely to be retold than positive ones. That may mean we as school marketers need to be broadcasting 20 positive stories for every one negative story discussed in the school carpark.

Nilah Magruder @ ECCC P11 @nilaffle said 
“Senior year of HS, I decided I wanted to apply to art school. I hadn't taken a single art class and didn't have a portfolio. The WHOLE DEPARTMENT rallied around me to get me ready.” 

How many art departments could, or would, do that for a student they had not had in their class? You couldn't write that into a educational instructional teaching manual for your school. I love it .

What positive stories from your current and former students are you recording and sharing about your teachers. I would love to hear them. These past stories are not forgotten and years later will still be generating both positive and negative word of mouth for your school – but you may not know about it. Don’t be afraid to name, identify and honour the teachers who make a positive difference in the life of students. 

Make some time to read some of these positive and negative stories on twitter. You may get some ideas of what stories to be telling to your school community.