The internet age of communicating has forever changed how we interact with family, friends, parents, administrators and students. I can remember the day when I didn’t have a phone in my room or a computer. The only real communication to the outside world was WALKING outside my classroom to the hall and talking to other teachers or students.
I remember those “memos” I would get in my school snail-mail box. Many teachers would read in disgust in why the sender wouldn’t come and talk, instead of write a memo. I also remember those “Let’s Chat,” signed by my principal. He wanted to TALK to me in person, no email. Yes, he personalized his discussions.
Today we communicate more and talk less. We communicate daily with email, voice mail, and texting. It is almost at a point of spam with people we know professionally. We have really cut down on calling on the phone or talking personally to individual. Relationships are NOT developed on a one-way communication of email, voicemail and texting. They are enhanced. You must talk on the phone or in person to really develop a relationship. Talking is a give and take, sorta a series of emails all in one. After the point has been agreed upon, an email to remind or keep a digital file of the meeting is appropriate.
The more we personalize our discussions, the more others will listen. Yes, it takes time to talk to the individuals on a personal level. But, you can personalize the discussion to meet the needs of you and the individual. In all actuality, it might be faster. Those who have a hard time talking on the hard issues are the ones who have a problem with this. They like to “communicate” their viewpoints and really not “talk” about the issue. They want to “communicate” to the group in a “sit and get,” model, with an “I’m in charge” mentality. Today’s education is interactive, collaborative, and one-to-one, not pushing the information on others.
Dates and events should be posted, not sent by email. There are calendars for that, Google cal and iCal are good examples of subscribing to calendar that is up-to-date.
If you are at a meeting or giving a presentation and no questions are asked, then no interaction is expected and you are not really talking to your audience. Yes, groups can be large, but the feedback from others is more important, so to personalize the message.
I make it a point to call or talk to parents and students whenever I can. If a parent or student does have a concern and emails or voicemails me, I talk to the parent and student about the concern, I personalize the discussion, because so many times it was communication issue.