It sounds straightforward, keeping communication simple, doesn't it? Unfortunately, we know that communication is often the complete opposite of straightforward!
In last week's post we walked through a process for keeping our own to-do's simplified and prioritized (opt-in here for free toolkit here). Surely we can do the same with our communication systems, right? In reality though, we know how quickly communication can get muddled.
Clear communication with colleagues, parents, students, and our admin teams is crucial for all things to run smoothly and with efficiency. Take a breath and let's break this down.
1. When communicating with colleagues, choose one or two platforms to serve a multitude of needs. You might choose to use WhatsApp messaging for quick messages such as schedule changes, new planning meeting location, etc. These quick messages can get missed, skipped, or lost if you are maneuvering between multiple apps or if they end up in a long email chain. For lengthier messages and attachments, you may choose your school email platform. Do not use personal email.
2. Centralize and streamline communication with parents. Whichever the platform for communicating with them, ensure that they understand the purpose of it. For example, parent newsletters should be sent out through the same system for all classes, such as through the school's management system or a parent email from the teacher. When the system is straightforward, parents know where to find information.
3. Keep your messages to any recipient short and concise. One item per WhatsApp or text, three items in an email to limit information or question overload.
4. Organize your longer messages with a simple structure like a numbering system or Q & A structure, depending on your message purpose. If you have a question to ask, ensure your questions are clearly numbered, or only ask one question per email to ensure your question not skipped. Also, request a reply by date to ensure your desired feedback is received in a timely fashion.
Keeping communication streamlined, clear, and concise will reduce frustrations for you and the recipients of your messages. One less frustration to deal with!
Read the full ASCD Inservice post here.
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