Words Matter

Although I know it, I'm reminded: words matter. Especially when you are the leader of a building, words count, and words matter. How you use words, which words you use, how you share them, when you share them - it all matters.

Recently, I have made an effort to provide feedback to teachers after I have been in their classroom, even if it has only been for a few minutes. Some feedback I was getting from teachers included questions such as: Why didn't you give me any feedback? Was my lesson ok? Did I do something wrong? Was I on target? We are educators, and good or bad, we are usually rule followers, hard workers, and want to do our jobs well. I found that exiting a classroom without using any words, without providing any language was leaving staff without any understanding about how things were going.

I decided to turn to Voxer. Once I leave a classroom, it takes me literally 30 to 60 seconds to record my thoughts, which are fresh in my mind. Sure, students walk by me and think I am talking to myself in my phone, but I assure them it's for school purposes. Using Voxer, I am able to provide timely feedback to staff, without delay. Certainly, if there is a more sensitive topic, I would plan to have the conversation in person, but if I want to affirm to a teacher that they are on target and doing a good job, Voxer is an outstanding tool to use. One teacher thanked me for using Voxer, sharing with me that it helped her her the tone in my voice, and it was as though we were having a conversation - and helped clarify for her what my feedback was.

This week, I am reminded: words count and words matter. Use words, and use them wisely. Words carry power to help educators grow, reflect and improve. Our students' progress depends on it.

A big thanks to my PLNs, especially #muddleleaders and #principalsinaction to get me inspired and blogging!

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