In response to the post, “Get Your Own E-Mail,” a reader called (yes, Lead Your School readers, you can reach me at 832-477-LEAD) and asked,

“Now that you have me concerned about e-mail, since I work in a big district where we do everything by district e-mail, what should I do?”

SC Response:
This is a great question and valid concern. Here is my suggestion.

First, from this point on make sure that the messages that you send from your district e-mail are as bland as Melba toast. And take proper names out of your written vocabulary.

Second, get a professional looking, personal e-mail address. G-mail, Yahoo and Go-Daddy are some options, there are many more.

Third, when you send e-mails either from school or home, send them from the personal address. Don’t announce that you are doing it. Most recipients are not surprised when your e-mail doesn’t come from your official address. They just think you are working either at a remote location or after hours. What is nice, is when the recipient hits reply, your second e-mail address is usually put in their address book.

Finally, you might be thinking, “But I’m still sending e-mails to public accounts.”

That’s OK, because the public information request can only request e-mails received and sent from your public account. It can’t request anything sent or received from your private account. Now to target you, someone would have to get the received messages from every public account and search for your messages. That won’t happen, and even if it did, since your messages are now bland and don’t mention names, there is no problem.

I’ll finish with two thoughts.

1. If you are an aggressive, goal oriented school leader that expects and produces results, you will eventually have an enemy that will want you gone. It could be a disgruntled teacher, an upset parent, a jealous peer, or an insecure boss. They will not announce themselves as your enemy. They will hide in the grass and snipe at you. Don’t make their job easier.

2. If you are an aggressive, goal oriented school leader that expects and produces results, you will eventually be hired by another school or district that wants what you offer and is willing to pay handsomely for it. It’s nice to be able to take the e-mail address that all your contacts know and use with you wherever you go.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…