I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a whole lot of things I’d rather do that talk to my principal about money.
If you’re like me, then it’s going to take a little bit of mental prep when it’s time to broach the funding subject with your administration. So here are some top tips for how to make it a little less nerve-racking and a lot more effective of a conversation.
All administrators thrive on data. That’s how they make decisions. Everything from test scores to budgets to enrollment numbers…if you can have some quality data to share with them it’s going to make the conversation so much easier for you to start and to justify. Using data takes the emotion out of the conversation. I mean, it’s not YOU who needs $5,000 for a couple more horns! It’s the enrollment numbers. Is the age of the instruments. It’s the eye-gougingly painful repair expenses. And most of all, it’s for the students.
Remember that they have many priorities in addition to you.
They have to stay balanced and fair. If they are saying ‘yes’ to you, that might mean that they are saying ‘no’ to your colleague down the hall- and vice versa. Keeping this in mind also softens your own ego, making it far easier to understand where the admin is coming from and why they might make the decisions that they do. If you want them to care more about your music program, give them a reason. [See #1 above].
Get to the Point
Your principal is a busy person. They have to manage everyone from the horrible student who pissed off a teacher last week to the teacher who just used a cuss word in their lecture to the school district administration or even the school board. There are funders and financials that they have to be working on. They are busy people. So go in, get to the point, say what you need to say as succinctly as you can, and get out.
You can always follow up in a day or two.
Keeping it even shorter.
Also, please keep in mind: These managers of your school probably know very little about music in general. They don’t know what you need unless you tell them.
In our webinar, Wendy Higdon and I go into the administrator mentality and give you even more tools to get what you need from them.
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And remember to subscribe to the Music Ed Mentor Podcast. Very soon we’ll have an episode all about how to work with administrators! It will be an absolutely enlightening listen for you.
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