|photo by Brenda Clarke|
Throughout the past couple of weeks, I have heard from teachers, parents, administrators and students about the TeacherEase system. While some of the comments have been frustrations about the getting the setup of the new system right, most of the comments have been excitement about the communication of the new system. Using TeacherEase for announcements has been a great convenience on the building level as well as the classroom level. Some teachers have also looked into alternative ways to text parents and students. Modeling good communication skills is imperative for educators. The following has always been a good guide to follow in electronic communications:
- Typing in all caps looks like yelling and is not received in a positive manner. If you woulld like to emphasize a word, bold or italicize it.
- Emotion and tone of voice are lost in written communication. Reread what you wrote before sending - polite wording and precise text are important in effective communication.
- Sarcasm in emails and text messages may be interpreted negatively and may be detrimental to your message. Be professional in written communication and save attempts at humor for face-to-face communication.
- Grammar and spelling are important in written communication - your message is better received if it is professional.
- Communicate in a timely manner, but consider that multiple messages in a short time frame confuse/irritate the reader - be sure to get it right the first time. Keep in mind that mistakes happen, but double-checking communication before sending makes rare mistakes forgivable.
- Maintain a calendar that holds you accountable for meetings, due dates, etc. by providing notifications of upcoming events or deadlines. I use iCalendar and share it with my family. We have categories that include Home, Work (mine), Allie (my oldest daughter's activities), Willa (my youngest daughter's activities), PirateDJ (my disc jockey business meetings and events), and Jr. Blues (our season ticket NAHL games - fun time is important, too).
- Have a system for a "to do" list. I use Trello to determine what I need to do and to prioritize those activities. I am also able to use Trello to collaborate with groups of people on activities that I am working on. Find a system that works for you and adapt it to your needs.
- Finally, in your hectic daily routine, schedule blocks of time that will include both spiritual and family time. If other activities are affecting either of these areas, consider ways to reorganize your schedule to allot more time to spiritual time and family time.
Next Steps for each building will include
- finalizing the setup of educational software in each building
- the continuation of the roll-out of teacher laptops to replace antiquated devices
- assistance with technology needs as they arise