Last week I received an email that threw my world off kilter.
It was an informational email sending me to a training offered through the district. It was mandatory. It was in big letters. My attendance was required…it was so ominous. So direct. Even scarier, this was also a training I had been to previously within the district. (um…twice.)
Immediately, I got this ick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why did I have to go again? What was my new boss going to think? Oh no…did SHE think I needed to go? Was I that bad? Gulp…was this a sign?
Am I horrible at my job???
Yes, my mind went there. I racked my brain trying to figure out how I was going to explain that I had to go to this training…again…for a whole day and not be at school to my new boss. I wrote and rewrote the email telling her…not wanting to appear as if I didn't want to go, or latently suggesting I didn't NEED to go…but almost embarrassed I had to go. Guess what her response was? “Great, I go the day after you.”
Turns out a LOT of administrators were going, regardless of whether they'd had it before. All my panic? was for naught. (Believe it or not, the world DOESN'T actually revolve around me!)
This made me think about the emails I send out to our staff. Do we have insecure teachers? Of course we do. Teachers who probably infer tone or meaning in the emails that they read, the same way that I did. While I realize that my insecurities may be more extreme than the average teacher, it is still something to keep in mind. As ridiculous as it is, we have to acknowledge that their perception is their reality.
How can we offset that concern and worry?
* Understand that some people speak a different validation language than you do.
* Make sure your expectations are transparent.
* VALIDATE your teachers! Let them know you appreciate what they do and how hard they work!
* Make sure they know that if you have a problem with them you will let them know. (and be consistent with this! No surprises!)
Todd Whitaker writes about blanket statements and how they allow laggards to hide in anonymity, but also make your best teachers worry. KNOW that when you're writing and decide what message you are wanting to send.
If anyone has any tips on how NOT to be insecure, please let me know. Till then, I'll just be affirming others via email…
smily face sending,