Today our topic is peacefully and effectively communicating with our child's school. Here are a few rules, yes rules, that will aid in communicating effectively and calmly with school or others that work with your child on a consistent basis.
1. Begin all communication with some positive feedback.Example: I want to thank you for the extra time you’ve take to help our son with…..he understands math so much better.
2. Any written communication is ALWAYS a draft. The more conflict there is(or potential for) the longer the wait and the more revisions are needed before you press send.
3. Objectivity and cool heads are important. Do not send written communication when you are “hot tempered.” Wait until tomorrow to see if you are still feeling the same way.
4. If more than 5 emails (3 by one party and 2 by the other) have gone between the teacher and parent without resolution to the situation, another form of communication is needed. Complicated communication needs to be shared in an environment where the following are present:
a. Words (present in written and oral forms of communication)
b. Voice (present in phone and face to face communication) which shows itself through pauses, intonation, volume, emotion, speed and fluency
c. Non-Verbal Communication ( present in face to face meetings) that includes facial expressions, posture, body language, eye contact and body position.
5. Remember any written communication (e-mail) is likely to be seen by others not just the person you send it. It could be forwarded to many others. Make sure that the e-mail is written in a way that you don’t mind the “world” seeing.
Using these guidelines will help you to avoid unnecessary confusion in communication and conflict in relationships with your child’s school.