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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Communication and Clarification

Often what stands between challenge and good work is good communication and clarification.

Our team this year makes every effort to communicate well, but at times there's confusion. That happens throughout the teaching/learning world.

Our weekly correspondence with families helps to foster good communication. We try to tell what happened, what's happening now, and what will happen in the future. If parents want to stay abreast of the teaching/learning program, they can simply read the newsletters or review the website.

Similarly we keep a document online to share classroom updates and schedules so we're on the same page--that generally works well.

Some don't worry as much about the details or mandates. In fact a colleague confided that he never reads any of them. He's a colleague that tends to keep the learning similar year to year, and a colleague with greater autonomy due to his role in education.

I, on the other hand, read all of the details carefully. I often like to try new ideas, and often new ideas are challenged so it's important that the ideas are developed in line with current rules and protocols.

Right now I have a number of questions on the table, questions that affect my current work.

First, I want to better understand the DDMs, and there's at least one meeting planned at this time to gain greater understanding of this element of educator expectation in Massachusetts.

Next, Ive reached out for clarity regarding our ordering processes. In one situation, the question was answered quickly and accurately which allowed me to follow-up and complete the work. And in another related situation, I'm waiting for a response so I can move forward.

I've asked for support in a number of new areas I'm developing to better my work with students, and in some cases I've received good communication and support, and in other cases I didn't receive any responses. I recognize that I'm one of many and that not all areas that interest me will interest others, so I know that I won't always receive an answer. Yet receiving answers really serves to boost good work in efficient, effective ways.

I've put most of the new protocols on a website to guide future work since it's difficult to remember all the changes without a place to retrieve them. That will hopefully help out with regard to next year's planning and work.

It's important to realize that while good communication and clarification will happen often, it won't happen all the time and there will be problems due to lack of or unclear communication. Almost everyone has areas of struggle when it comes to the complex world of communication, yet there are those that do it quite well and they serve as good mentors.

It's a very busy time of the school year--a time when good communication and clarification matters a lot. I'll spend some time this morning trying to organize the details so it's mostly clear sailing ahead. Onward.