The title of this article is probably one of the stranger things I have said, but it is true. If public education is to survive, it is imperative public school educators take lessons from Donald Trump. They must study the way he orchestrated his speeches into repetitive “trumpet” calls to action that ultimately sent him to the White House. They must pay close attention to how a man who is intentionally simple and self-promoting could get inside the heads of a nation and become the most powerful man in the world. Public school educators must learn to play Donald Trump’s “trumpet game!” Their survival most likely depends on it.
If public school educators learned to use Trump’s “trumpet” formula, there is no reason why it shouldn’t work for them as well. What Trump did was not magic or sleight of hand. It was not even complicated, but it was brilliant. His speeches were nothing more than self-marketing at its most flamboyant and magnificent. Of course, most educators are not as ostentatious as Trump, but they could still learn from him by studying his rise to power. When it comes to marketing, educators have a lot to learn, and there is not a better teacher than the current President of the United States.
If people hear something often enough, they begin to believe it – good or bad. If people hear whimpering, whining, and apologies often enough they begin to believe something is wrong. Therefore, it’s time educators stopped whining and being apologetic! Educators need to learn from the President to be more aggressive and self-promoting. They need to start telling the public what they want them to know, and they must keep preaching that message until the public believes it. The days of the sweet little timid unassuming school teacher are over. If public schools are to survive, confident self-promoters, not afraid to toot their own horn, are needed, and Trump’s formula is the vehicle to enable teachers to market themselves successfully. For instance, look at the following example of how a teacher might sound using the Trump “Trumpet” Formula:
How Teachers Might Express themselves using the “Trumpet” Formula
|Hello America. I am a public school teacher – a great teacher. My friends tell me I am a great great teacher. People I don’t even know call me and tell me how very very great I am. Believe me I am a great teacher. But, my profession is under attack by a misinformed public and politicians. Politicians are total scum bags. They have fought against me and other great public school teachers for many many years, but they can’t beat us. Can’t do it. Total losers.
Teaching is the best profession in the world – not the oldest, but the best. Public schools have all the best teachers – the best tile on the floors – the best ringers in the bells. Other schools fail in comparison. Look at charter schools – total disaster. They are not even real schools. They’re fake. They’re fake schools. Public schools are real. Tremendous schools! Public schools have cafeterias. They serve the best government commodity food in the world. It’s true. The cafeterias are the best, they are. You can eat “pig-in-a-blanket” with syrup for breakfast. The ladies in the cafeterias serve the best cheesy cheese over rice in the world for lunch. You can even grab and squeeze their biscuits, it’s fantastic.
Public schools are the safest schools. They have the best walls around them – chain link walls, walls of iron and steel. Great walls that can be seen from Mars – so far away they look like tiny Ninja fortresses. And, think, the parents of ELL students – non-English speakers – paid for it. It’s true. Public schools have the best arts and sports programs in America – in the world. They’re great – tremendous! Unlike some schools, public schools even make time for academics. People tell us, very very important people, tremendous people, that America has the greatest underfunded education system in the world. It’s unbelievable. It really is.
Support public schools. Tell your sons and daughters to support public schools. America has a great great dependency on public schools. It’s huge. Tremendous! Friday night football in the fall, Prom – backseat romps in the spring, and baby’s first holiday onesie at Christmas. Traditions we will lose unless America stands tall for public schools. If Americans allow politicians to screw public schools, traditions will die and societal problems will grow. Believe me, they will become huge! They will be enormous! It’s true. Please don’t.
Last but not least, public school teachers totally understand it’s gonna be politicians first – Republicans first, Democrats second. But, can we just say, “Public School Education,” third? Is that okay? It would be tremendous. Huge! Friday night football would remain king! People, great great people, special people, people I don’t even know, will call it huge. Tremendous! Together we will make public schools great again big time. Thank you. You’re great – the best. It’s true.
[End Teacher Example]
Hey, this worked for Donald Trump! Verbally repeat or publish something often enough in social media and people will eventually start to believe it. How else could a billionaire with no political experience and little in common with the masses get enough votes to become President of the United States? His looks are not that appealing, and he doesn’t come across as overly smart, so what made him interesting enough to win the confidence and trust of the people? The answer is simple. Although his message was rarely clear and to the point, he kept to the point. His message, “We will make America great again,” never wavered.
Though simplistic, he was never uncertain about where he stood. He never backed down. He got inside America’s head and he stayed there with a simple combination of telling people what he wanted them to hear and what they wanted to hear over and over and over again. Throughout the election campaign, he was the dominating aggressor to the point of being rightfully labeled a bully, but he never strayed from his message nor was he ever boring. Americans love to be entertained, and he delivered big time!
Educators can learn a lot from Donald Trump. To change attitudes toward public education, educators need to take his lessons to heart. Like Trump, to win, educators must get inside people’s heads. They must develop a message of simple, but aggressive repetition. For example, if teachers had maintained a unified repetitive stand that Common Core Standards were GREAT, TREMENDOUS, and WOULD MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, instead of becoming boring unsure defenders of the standards, the negative hoopla, most likely, would have, in a very short time, faded away without the need to drop the standards, change the name of the standards, or any other such nonsense. Educators must learn to say what they want people to know and remember, and like Donald Trump, they must say it often.
However, probably the greatest lesson educators can take from Trump is simplicity. According to a report by Evan Puschak, founder of NerdWriter, Donald Trump favors simple sentences when he speaks. He rarely uses complex or compound sentences. Puschak stated 78% of Trump’s words are one syllable with only about 5% of his words having three to four syllables. In a separate report by Matt Viser of the Boston Globe, Viser used a Flesch-Kincaid analysis of answers Presidential candidates gave to debate questions to determine Trump’s responses were consistently on a fourth grade level – simple and easy for anyone in the audience to comprehend. In the world of communication, simplicity is power.
Unfortunately, unlike Donald Trump, educators like to put their “smarts” on show when they speak, especially in front of the public. As a result, they often speak over the heads of their listeners or down to their listeners. They hit them with professional jargon and acronyms until they put them to sleep or turn them off completely to what is said. Therefore, when it comes to communicating with parents and the public in general, educators would do well to forget their diplomas and the fancy cute acronyms, and speak the language of the people. When it comes to communication, the old adage, “keep it simple stupid” (KISS) is by far the best strategy. If you don’t believe it, ask Donald Trump; his “trumpet” call took him all the way to the White House.
©Jack Linton, February 4, 2017