Month: September 2020

Challenging Conversations: An Opportunity, Not a Burden

The happenings of the world are causing increased anxiety in so many of us. Schools are creating plans, backup plans, and backup plans for those backup plans. The landscape of education has changed and so have the rhythms of the typical communication flow. Educators and administrators are overwhelmed with emails, texts, and zoom meetings in addition to all their regular daily work. Educators and leaders need to be more responsive, thoughtful, and empathic than ever before and simultaneously manage heightened communication both in volume, intensity, and urgency than ever. As remote learning, hybrid models, and all the procedures involved are new to families and schools, we all are experiencing shifting expectations and managing a lot of disappointment. We are having challenging conversations.

Challenging conversations in schools have many components: the emotions, the intentions, the actual matter to be discussed, the existing relationship amongst the people and of course the child at the center of the discussion.

Managing Communication Overload

Relationships are the most important part of schools whether remote or in person. Therefore, it is vital to keep on top of communications as a way to build responsive and trusting relationships, especially during these uncertain times. When a parent is struggling with supporting their child with remote learning and their communication to the school has not been answered within 24 hours, their trust in the school may dwindle and their anxiety may increase. If a teacher who is unsure about a tech issue on SeeSaw, does not hear back from the Tech Director right away, their ability to teach is compromised. All the inner workings of a classroom and a school are more transparent than ever as parents sit beside their children in the virtual classroom and listen in on their day. Parents are being asked to do more than ever to support their child’s learning. All this leads to more questions which lead to more emails and the dreaded ever-increasing red number next to the mail icon.