The Educator's PLN

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Take a look at your outgoing email.  Most people have an automatic signature that places your name and basic contact information at the end of every email.  Some people get creative and add a motivational quote.  This space is actually very valuable real estate.  This space is an opportunity to let everyone you email know about something important.  Think of your signature space as a place to showcase who you are, what you are doing, and how others can join in.  Here are five ways to maximize your signature at the end of an email.


What are you up to?

Under your signature, list the dates of important events.  If you are a classroom teacher list the dates of the next big project, class trip, or parent visitation.  As an administrator list report card dates, concert dates, or PTO meeting times.  Update your information every other week.  Over time, people will get use to looking for important information at the end of your emails. 


The Links

Look for a great article that focuses on parent child relationships or an article about the importance of schools in the community.  Highlight a link under your signature.  Not everyone will click the link, but some will.  By doing this you are continually sharing what is important to you and your school.


Color it up!

Consider using different color font within your signature.  It doesn’t have to be a crazy hot pink.  How about a burgundy or navy blue to highlight important information that you want others to know?  Please, do not have three or four different colors.  That would make it too difficult to read.  Just pick one color and possibly bold a word or two that are important.


Contact Me!

Don’t skimp on providing information about how to get in touch with you.  Just because you are sending and receiving an email doesn’t mean that is the only way to get back in touch.  Within your signature add the following:


What do you do in the school?

Hours that you are available

Prep Time

School Address

School Phone Number

School Fax Number

Teacher Web Site (active link)

School Web Site (active link)

District Web Site (active link)

School Facebook Page (active link)

School Twitter Name

If you offer all of this information at the end of every email, there is no way a parent can say they didn’t know how to get a hold of you or you were not accessible. 


Say Cheese!

If you are comfortable, consider adding a headshot under your signature.  Simply cut and paste a nice, clear image of yourself.  Do not use a full body image or a candid photo.  You must appear professional and friendly.  Also, be sure to shrink the image down to a sensible size.  The photo should not be bigger than your typed name.  If you don’t want to use your photo consider using the school’s mascot.  Again, the image should not be bigger than your typed name.


The focus of this idea is to increase communication and improve the image of the school.  Through your email signature you can continually share the vision of the school and maximize your public relations opportunities.



I hope you are not planning on adding every idea I shared with you into your email signature.  Pick one or two that would work and try it out for a month or two.  Let me know what your response is. 

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