Replied to Angry people

I get to choose my disposition. I can feel empathy for people that give themselves less choice than I have. I can move on after these interactions without feeling bad, if I know that I handled things as best as I could with the resources and experience that I have… and I need to remember that this applies to them too. They did they best they could, given their experiences and circumstances. I don’t choose to look back on this experience with anger. I’m not upset that I didn’t handle it better. I don’t pretend that it didn’t have an effect on me or I probably wouldn’t be writing about it now. But I will meet more angry people in my life, and I believe that I’m more resilient and more prepared for that time, thanks to this experience.

David, I really like your point about choosing your disposition. In my current role, I support a number of schools across the state of Victoria. This is often by phone and screen sharing. Often when the call gets to me, the person on the other end can be quite tense and frustrated, having already spent some time trying to fix something or get it to work. It is therefore important to listen and empathise with the struggles at the other end.

Although this is different from the situation you touch upon, both situations capture the challenge of communication in an online world. I find this a little easier when I have had the chance to meet the people who I maybe supporting in person. However, this is not always possible when schools are so geographically disparate.

Liked

Bookmarked 12 Tips For Teachers Communicating With Parents Via Email (With Poster)
Kathleen Morris provides a number of tips associated with email, such as using an email service provider and canned responses. Doug Belshaw provides a different take on email and efficiency, collecting together a number of resources and references on the matter. It is also good to remember that email is a flawed technology.
Bookmarked LRB · Jon Day · Operation Columba: Pigeon Intelligence (London Review of Books)

During the First World War, soldiers at the front used pigeons to communicate with those behind the lines, and with tank commanders when their radios failed. In the Second World War most bomber crews carried a pair of birds in a specially designed floating cage. If they were shot down they would release a pigeon bearing a message detailing their position.

Jon Day discusses Secret Pigeon Service by Gordon Corera, a book exploring the role of pigeons during the Second World War. I cannot help but be reminded of the work of Audrey Watters.

via Kottke

Bookmarked Opinion | No, You Can’t Ignore Email. It’s Rude. by an author (nytimes.com)

Being overwhelmed is no excuse. It’s hard to be good at your job if you’re bad at responding to people.

Adam Grant explains that email today is what taking calls was in the 90’s. He explains that simply ignoring them is not a solution. Instead we need to have clearer processes in place, whether it be alternative means of contact or writing short replies explaining this.

Remember that a short reply is kinder and more professional than none at all. If you have too much on your plate, come clean: “I don’t have the bandwidth to add this.” If it’s not your expertise, just say so: “Sorry, this isn’t in my wheelhouse.” And if you want to say no, just say “no.”

The one caveat, emails from strangers continually asking for something. These can be ignored.

I have a few general rules. You should not feel obliged to respond to strangers asking you to share their content on social media, introduce them to your more famous colleagues, spend hours advising them on something they’ve created or “jump on a call this afternoon.” If someone you barely know emails you a dozen times a month and is always asking you to do something for him, you can ignore those emails guilt-free.

Replied to

I have experienced a combination of LMS (Sentral, Compass, Synergetic) and social media (Facebook pages). I have discussed the use of Slides for newsletters in the past. I also think that there is scope for storing ‘newsletters’ in Google Drive to embed elsewhere.

Personally, I think that it is a balance between where parents are and where you want them to be. I think a lot of people baulk at something like Edublogs because it is another space to log into, however I have significant concerns about sending people to places like Facebook and other such sites because of the issues with algorithms and advertising.

What annoys me most though about most forms of notifications is that they often send out a link to the information with just enough detail to get you to click, but not enough to be content.

Bookmarked Getting personal: conferring with learners as they inquire by an author

Critical to the success of our experience with personal inquiry is the role of the teacher in conferring with learners. Far from being a routine that allows learners to simply “go off on their own” , teachers are working the room as coaches, guides, observers and co-researchers. Scheduled and spontaneous conferences are the mainstay of the teachers’ role during iTime.

Kath Murdoch discusses the importance of conferring during the inquiry process. These conversations can contribute to formative assessment, getting to know students building trust, providing feedback and learning about learning. To support all this, Murdoch provides a list of tips and questions, such as providing multiple ideas if suggesting solutions or articulating what the child has taught you. I have found one of the biggest challenges with conferencing is to support students in owning this. In a different post,Tom Whitby discusses the power associated with communicating and conferring with parents and explains how this can influence our knowledge of students and the way they learn.
Bookmarked Why we hate using email but love sending texts (bbc.com)

They both allow us to stay in touch, but while email often attracts ire, text messaging is more popular than ever. Is the way we choose to communicate saying more than we might think?

Bryan Lufkin reflects on the changes associated with our use of email overtime. Whereas it was restricted to a few users, now everyone (and every company) has your address now. The argument made is that people are now more willing to text or ‘snap’. I wonder if this is due to the lack of novelty provided by other spaces? This article provides a different perspective than Quinn Norton’s history of the technology.