Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Failure to Communicate

I received an email this week from the parent of perhaps one of your students. The email said (with minor edits for clarity and appropriate language):

"I am the mother of a student whose teacher has a weekly blog. I am informed every Friday that, should I be interested in knowing what my child did during the past week, I must log on to her blog.

Three things you should know from a busy, working parent's perspective:
1) I am convinced that there are few things in the world more egotistical than a teacher with a blog.
2) If you have the time to email me telling me to check your blog, why could you not just email me what you put in the blog in the first place and save me a bunch of time.
3) If you insist on having a blog, then DO NOT use my child's name -- not even his first name or initials. It is no one's business except mine and my family's what you did with my child this week and what his reaction was or was not. Using his initials is not protecting his identity from other parents in the class or people in the neighborhood who may log on.

I despise teacher blogs. I dread getting that annoying email every Friday. I can think of 20 things this teacher could be doing to educate those kids every week other than this.

I understand that blogging is all the rage. I get it. I just think it is not good form to insist that parents 'check out my blog' to find out what was taught this week. This experience has put a bad taste in my mouth for this teacher."

What we've got here, folks, is a failure to communicate. We've got a teacher trying to communicate efficiently and effectively what's going on in her classroom. And we've got a parent telling me about her anger at the method of communication the teacher is using. Lots of communication from both, it appears, with no actual communicating taking place.

From where I sit waaaay in the back of the room, it sounds as though the busy teacher has failed to explain to her students' parents why she's chosen to blog and what she hopes to accomplish. And the seething parent certainly has not shared her objections to blogging with her child's teacher. I guess she expects me to do it for her. So I have -- whoever you are. (You know who you are :)

But c'mon, people. Don't get mad; get together. Talk to each other. Isn't that what educating kids is all about?

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