Dear Educators,

Welcome to the first diocesan school edition of Post It Notes.  I have often wished a communication for all of our educators, and the stars have aligned with our Communications Department partnership. This will be the place that programs and people in our schools, as well as timely teacher and administrator tips, will be highlighted. As a Catholic educator, with a “few” years in the field, I will offer some thoughts which, hopefully, will be pertinent.

This month, I’d like to summarize an article, It’s Not Just What You Say, It’s How You Say It*, that highlights effective communication. Below are points about email communication that the article addresses:

  • Reduce word clutter in emails: Just like bright clothing and jewelry detract from what a person is saying, multiple ideas and excess words can detract from what you are saying. Stick to one idea and clear language.
  • Find the context and wordage use of the email tone: Since emails do not have facial expressions or tone inflections, it’s highly important to communicate information in a positive word selection “tone.” Read over the email prior to sending to ensure that what is said will be “heard” and not elicit anger or frustration.
  • Setting the right tone for your audience: An email to a colleague would have a different tone than one to a parent. Always maintain professionalism as well as support for the person on the other end, depending upon the audience.
  • Find and maintain trust through in-person contact: Teachers relying only on email communication with parents often run the risk of not developing an emotional connection. Face-to-face meetings with colleagues and parents are meant to establish a level of trust. Follow-through emails can then be used to communicate messages based upon a positive platform.
  • Know when spoken words are best: Sometimes a call works better than an email!

*Posted by Amy Barnes, October 3, 2017; School Leaders Now

May the blessings of Lent be with you. Happy communicating!

Sally Todd