Let us get down to brass tacks, if you want to hold the attention of your audience, you need to have an engagingly written and well-paced morning announcement script, whether it be a TV show, a movie or the customary morning announcements in school. Most schools do not give it a lot of importance and it reflects in the kind of material they produce for their morning announcements, from the dull and dreary content to the lifeless reading to the archaic systems they use to broadcast the same. And you may very well ask, “What is wrong with that? After all, it is just the stuff we are mandated to inform. We see no reason to turn it into anything special.” Well, technically, you would be right, but you are ignoring the fact that morning announcements are a time-tested way to set a positive tone for the day, as well as build community and morale.
To accomplish this, you need to have a routine that can be followed on a daily basis. Let us take a look at some of the questions you need to answer before you come up with a routine.
1. Understand your audience – You have to bear in mind that you are writing a morning announcement script for a student population that spans an entire spectrum, from excited pre-pubescents to awkward teenagers. The language of the script needs to be such that it appeals to everyone. It is best to go with a tone that imparts a sense of unity to your students. Keep it upbeat and friendly. Imagine that the students are visiting your home for the first time. Wouldn’t you try to be as energetic, welcoming and engaging as possible so that they feel right at home?
2. If in doubt, leave it out – Morning announcements that are long can become boring. There is a crucial interval that defines when the students are engaged and listening, and when their attention starts to wander. You need to make sure that the announcement does not cross that threshold. For instance, if there is any communication that needs to be relayed to the teachers, an interdepartmental memo would be better than clubbing it with the morning announcements.
3. Get a student involved – Although this seems pretty basic, not a lot of schools encourage student leaders to do the morning announcements. Student council leaders have a camaraderie and rapport with their colleagues, which translates to a more engaged audience.
4. A liberal dose of humor – Every class has a comedian who cracks his/her peers, up. Try to involve more of these students more in the morning announcements. It is an excellent way to inject some humor into a standard routine. Not only will this give the other students something to look forward to every morning, it will also ensure that you end up communicating what you want to.
Structuring the morning announcement script
Let us look at a sample structure for the morning announcement routine. If you follow the spirit and letter of the following format, you cannot put your foot wrong.
- Wake up call – This needs to be fresh, lively and energetic. It would be best if the principal does this to get the day off to a great start.
- Pledge of allegiance and sing along – Then the student council members can take over with the pledge of allegiance and some thought for the day. You can also incorporate a sing along as it works wonders in boosting the spirit of the students.
- Announcements – This is followed by the announcement of school-wide events, student birthdays, lunch menu specials, and the weather report. Like we said before, it is better if someone from the student body does this as students are more likely to listen to their peers.
- Guest for the day – Once the formalities are taken care of, you can have a guest speaker cover a topic of interest for the school. It can be anything, from the reading curriculum to health tidbits, and timed competitions where the first student to solve a problem can rush down to the principal’s office to collect his/her prize. The focus of this has to be academic but it also needs to be fun. Mix this up so that it does not get monotonous. If you are short on ideas or hard pressed for time, you can ask your students to come up with ideas.
- Local community representative – You can have some representative member of the local community come over and give a talk to your students once a week. This will encourage your students to involve themselves more in what is happening around them, which will definitely benefit them when it is time for the college applications. The visitor can be anyone from the neighborhood who can convey their personal story in clear, concise, and powerful terms. If you are still not sure as to what tone this section should take, visit the “Humans of New York” page on Facebook. That should give you a good idea of what we are talking about.
Make sure that the production values are sleek. In a previous post, we talked about how to set up a studio inside the school and get the students involved in producing the morning segments. The gear would not cost you much and it is a great way to bring about student participation. As a matter of fact, chances are that a lot of the students would like to participate. So it is best to have a student representative executive produce this section on a daily basis so that it can all be coordinated. This also gives parents a chance to connect to the broadcast remotely and stay up to date on what is happening in their kids’ school. Once you have set the tone for the day and made all the announcements you want to, make sure you wrap it up well. Wish your students a great day ahead and have the school band or cheerleading team do a little performance to wind it all up.
Photo Credit Featured Image: © Fotolia / Ivan Kruk