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Community Building Tips

Assorted Community-building tips from Mariah, former Head of Community at Schoolhouse

🙋‍♀️ Lead by being an example.

Your most important responsibility as a leader in your community is to help set the tone of the space, by treating your community members with patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, and positivity.

👏 Lead by celebrating examples.

Look for community members who are doing a great job, encourage them, and celebrate them so the community can see what great participation can look like. Here are some ideas for how:
Send a quick DM to let someone know you appreciate their response to a learner
Add quick emoji reactions to great answers, showing that you noticed their thoughtfulness
Give public shoutouts to recognize exemplary tutors and contributors, sharing specifically what makes their work special (others can then learn from them!)
Give public shoutouts to recognize people’s progress—whether that’s becoming a tutor, getting certifications, etc

🛟 Provide guidance, rather than correction.

When you notice something is going awry in a conversation, try to provide support to lead things back in the right direction. Avoid using your authority as a moderator to change people’s behavior, unless it’s a last resort.

🦺 Maintain professionalism, as a representative of Schoolhouse

In most situations at Schoolhouse, you mostly represent yourself and your own opinions. However, when you become a community moderator, you play a huge role in how your tutors and learners see your community, and even as a whole. For this reason, try to maintain a mostly neutral stance as you help address issues and conflicts in your space—focus on encouraging people to find a middle ground, rather than sharing your own unique opinion.

👂 Solicit feedback & ideas

Check in with highly active community members and ask them for feedback on how to better support the community. Always be a learner!

🛠 Engineer serendipity

It might be easy to think of mods as the hub at the center of the community—you connect everyone. Instead, think about how you can build spaces (discussion posts, sessions, etc) that will help other people connect directly with each-other, and find the seemingly “random” connections that make them feel close to each-other.

Enjoy the journey

Building up a community is an incredibly special experience, and you’ll get to put your own unique spin on it. It takes a lot of trial and error, but if you’re enjoying the experience and excited for the ups and downs, that will rub off on your community!
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