In the heart of your school lies its people — the dedicated teachers who inspire, the students who dream, the proud alumni who’ve taken your mission to greater heights, and the visionary leaders who pave the way forward.
Each person is a mix of experiences, aspirations, achievements, and stories that define who they are. And yet, so often, the depth of their stories falls short through standard profiles that fail to capture their wisdom and creativity or let their true personality shine through.
When it comes to sharing a story, some people aren’t comfortable on camera; others have smiles that radiate. Some are well-spoken; many prefer to submit their answers and let their written words do the talking.
Through a range of multimedia, online tools, and a little creativity, your school can provide an insight into the lives and journeys of its community members — a creative look into the rich personalities, passions, and people that make it special.
If you're looking for examples of a teacher profile or just need some inspiration to profile your school’s head or students, here are creative ways to bring their stories to life.
A Look Back
A journey through key milestones in someone’s life or career allows readers to gain a sequential understanding of the person's growth, evolution, and key moments that shaped them.
For a retiring teacher or administrator, milestones like a "First Day at School," "10th Year Anniversary," and "Most Memorable Field Trip" provide insights into their dedication, long-standing commitment, and the key experiences they've shared with students.
A landing page like this helps Eden Prairie celebrate its 100th anniversary, complete with a slideshow, videos, and even a congratulatory letter from President Biden.
Three long-tenured members of YesPrep Public Schools shared their memorable experiences from the last 25 years at the charter school. Photos and stories helped trace the evolution of its program.
Whether someone from your office films this or it’s shot through user-generated content, this video format offers an unfiltered look into "everyday" life. Observing a student or school leader in their natural settings, interacting with friends or colleagues, and navigating daily challenges provides a broad understanding of their character, schedule, and approach to their role.
Shadowing a principal, support staff, or upperclassmen also reveals their relationship with others, their passions, and how they balance responsibilities.
As an example of a student profile, Penn Charter School's Day in the Life Series features videos filmed by the students themselves, which brings an authentic look into the lives of their students’ academic and extracurricular activities.
Education Week featured two busy school administrators with photos, an audio story, and a down-to-the-minute schedule of their hectic days. With jam-packed schedules, it’s amazing both school leaders are able to stay so committed to their school communities.
Photos say so much, and these visual narratives provide a more intimate glimpse into an individual's journey. With a series of photos, your viewers can closely examine the subtle expressions and fleeting moments to better understand how your subjects have evolved, what environments they thrive in, and the people and moments that have made an impression.
Capturing a busy school teacher or admin, from their days in the classroom to their personal life, provides a powerful statement to your school's impact on supporting students.
A faculty member’s busy schedule was captured by a photographer at Mississippi Today, detailing her commitment to education while juggling two jobs. From meaningful moments between students to grading papers late at night, readers were given an inside look at the demanding role of an educator.
Quizzes & Q&As
Quizzes and Q&As engage your audience in a playful manner. As users discover fun and unexpected facts about the person, and that can create a deeper connection and understanding of their personality.
For example, finding out that the stern-looking principal was once a class clown can change perceptions and showcase a different side of their personality.
Hover your mouse over Chadwick School’s faculty and staff directory, and you’ll get a glimpse of its employees' hobbies, passions, and quirky personalities. It’s a delight, and their responses to questions like, “Tell us one of the funniest things that have happened in your classroom,” is a very creative approach to introducing its community.
Pro Tip: Need to collect the responses from hundreds of faculty and staff? It’s easy to do with a simple online form — just send the link to your contacts and have them submit their answers!
The long-form, conversational nature of podcasts can lead to more candid discussions, and without time constraints or distractions, they offer deep dives into experience and aspirations. You can listen to their voice, hear them differently, and discover more about their motivations and passions.
A superintendent can have the time to expand on their visions for the district, or an alum and retell a favorite story from their time on campus.
The Courageous Curiosity Podcast, hosted by Novi Community School District Superintendent Ben Mainka, interviews students, staff, and community stakeholders about all kinds of subjects, including recent hot-button issues like AI in the classroom.
Sandy Spring Friends School’s Head of School Dr. Rodney Glasgow, and the SSFS College Counseling staff were just some of the guests featured on its Gnu Stories Podcast series, a creative look into the people and programs of SSFS!
Lipscomb Academy’s Mustangs Unbridled podcast explores the lives of its alumni, parents, students, and teachers, through its “Get to Know Us” series on Spotify.
Hosted by The Winnetka Public Schools, “Winnetka Voices” is a podcast with candid conversations on topics in education to support its students and families. Superintendent Dr. Kelly Tess hosts a number of guests to reflect on their careers and the landscape of education.
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Tribute Pages and Scrapbooks
Scrapbooks aren’t just for grandparents — every memento, letter, program, or picture tells a story. A scrapbook with ticket stubs, exhibition photos, or thank-you notes can highlight personal connections and important moments.
Rowland Hall commemorated the work of its long-time employee with a tribute page that kicked off a gift campaign, and during remote learning, Edina School was still able to honor its retirees with tributes on a landing page, complete with questions about their time at the district.
Don’t forget to crowdsource content, too. From funny anecdotes to heartfelt testimonials, collecting stories about a retiring teacher or dedicated staff member can tell more about their influence on your community.
Framing questions around a theme offers a focus on someone’s expertise and experiences and reveals more about their depth of knowledge, passion for the subject, and personal stories that standard interviews might miss.
Need some teacher profile examples? Questions for a science teacher about "Classroom Discoveries" could tell tales of student projects, her most memorable teaching moments, or even personal inspirations from the wide world of science.
Charlotte Country Day School’s Meet Our Community page features a grid of profiles of teachers answering the question “Why I Teach.'' Built with the Finalsite’s Post module, it's a great interactive mix of reasons — from personal and professional goals to the satisfaction of seeing students excel in the classroom.
Head of School Ronnie Codrington-Cazeau answered a Q&A before her fifth year at University Prep, describing her excitement for starting a new school year and continuing the school's mission. An accompanying YouTube video also shared how she enjoys spending time with family and more.
Parkland Superintendent Dr. Mark Madison answered the hard-hitting questions from elementary students in this YouTube Video, responding to inquiries about pets, his favorite superhero, and his favorite type of pizza.
Tours of their Space
Workspaces often reflect personality. A guided tour offers insights into someone's preferences, inspirations, and the physical spaces that play a role in their daily life. You might discover a thing or two about their personal quirks!
As part of its Calhoun Stories series, Calhoun profiles several of its teachers, and along with their video interviews, we see them within their classrooms. Placing your subject in their environment is a great way to give more insight into their working spaces.
With a multi-dimensional approach that fits the character of your subject, you can provide a richer, more intimate understanding of the personalities that shape your community. Tailoring the medium to the individual’s personality and story ensures a unique and memorable profile, but the key to each of these concepts is authenticity. Capturing genuine moments, emotions, and stories will resonate most with your audience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Connor has spent the last decade within the field of marketing and communications, working with independent schools and colleges throughout New England. As Finalsite’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Connor plans and executes marketing strategies and digital content across the web. A former photojournalist, he has a passion for digital media, storytelling, coffee, and creating content that connects.