During a recent #satchat, the topic was helping young administrators prepare for the new school year. While participating in the #satchat Voxer group this week (very cool professional development experience), I have been able to reflect on some of the days when I first began as an administrator. One of the questions asked during #satchat was, “What was something that did not go well during your first year as an administrator and how did you change it?” I pondered this question for a little bit and then quickly realized what I needed to change my first year.
Communication is vital in education. Our daily and weekly interactions with students, staff, parents and community stakeholders are important for an effective and positive school culture. My first year there were times when I forgot about the personal touch that is necessary in communicating in education. While email, texting, and social media are great to push out information and communicate with a broad audience, it is imperative to discuss certain topics in person. In an era when we are accustomed to communicating using devices, we need to remember our emotions, body language, and back and forth conversations help us express the correct tone necessary for the topic at hand.
As the summer winds down and the new school year is approaching, take a look at how you plan to communicate with all of your stakeholders. Focus on the importance of the topics and determine whether you will be able to successfully express your thoughts and opinions electronically or face-to-face. If you ever have a doubt as to how someone may react to your response, communicate with him or her in person. We need to remember that building relationships in the most important as aspect in education. It’s easier to build relationships by speaking in person than by hitting “SEND.”