An answer to the problems of communication?
As a teacher for 12 years and a headmaster for almost four of them, I have yet to work in a school where everyone reckons that communication is good and that information is passed on satisfactorily. In the schools I have worked, I have asked for input on how to improve things from staff, parents and students. Almost inevitably, as though it were some kind of mantra, every time I ask how the school could be better I get the response that communication needs to be improved.
Every time I have had this response I have thought long and hard about what can be done, and every time I have started some initiative that is meant to improve the situation. And yet, still, the response from some group or other will be that communication needs to be improved, is not good enough or is inefficient.
I know that we are not unique in any way, that most schools do most of all of what we do and that we will all face the charge, at some time or other, of not communicating well. I feel that this is a particular issue in international schools. Parents and staff come from different educational and cultural backgrounds and the international school never fully matches up to what the parents and students have been used to or what they expect…
Teachers will be used to one way of communication and find another in operation or will find the language confusing or will find the style of management strange, parents (perhaps new to Denmark or new to an international school system), and possibly paying tuition fees for the first time for their children’s education, may expect a greater degree of communication that they had before. International schools have their own, developed, systems which have grown out of their particular and peculiar circumstances and these often do not conform to any institution, parents, students or teachers have met before.
All of this is a partial explanation as to why; we have decided to have this blog. A blog, for those of you who do not know it, is essentially a web page on which you can write very easily and create a number of dated, sequential entries, rather like a diary. There is also the possibility for the readers of the blog to post comments on it, related to the entry they have just read.
We have a common responsibility for seeking information on the blog and the Cosmo school website, which gives us a common ground dealing with whatever issues which may arise. Should the nature of the message in question be of a more personal character, we all have e-mail addresses to which you are more than welcome to direct your questions and individual pieces of information. You will find the teachers’ e-mail addresses on the website.
The inspiration for the blog came from Ann Meier from Business Kolding, who thought that a blog might be a way to introduce a more personal note into the communication between the members of staff, parents, students and other collaborators.
Hopefully this blog can alleviate some of the communication gaps between the international school and the parents and students!