As part of the #edublogclub year-long challenge to blog on education. While the official club has ended, they have shared posts to continue the journey through 2017. This week’s prompt was about a preferred method of communication.
If you asked me which makes me sound more intelligent, I’d say in print. My words tend to flow better, I have the time to think of the right word rather than the quickest word to get to my point, and I can edit for content. Specifically, I revise so that my point is direct rather than my verbal communication where I circuitously make my point (What was I saying again? Or, I forgot what I was saying). I’ve also made improvements like editing out exclamation points and using bullet points when emailing. I’m also the one friend you have that uses capitals when needed and proper punctuation in a text message. I have never used LOL. Ever.
Though improvements can be made for verbal skills as well. Several years ago I heard myself say “no problem” too many times when someone said thank you or deflecting a compliment rather than saying thank you. I wanted to change that, so I made a concerted effort to reply “you’re welcome” when someone said thank you and “thank you” when someone gave me a compliment.
I think about this again and again especially in my constant reflection of Turkle’s book Reclaiming Conversation that I posted about here. We are living in a society that does value digital rather than verbal. People would rather text than talk because it allows for a disconnect in interaction.
As educators to the young and old, we should listen more and talk less, something that I’m working on with teens in my library. I’m quick to put words in their mouth when they’re not coming out fast enough– thinking I know exactly what they’re going to say. But I’m doing the thing that I hate– feeling rushed when speaking. Let’s give our kids a chance to say what they want to say and not scare them into being silent. As they say, listen and silent are comprised of the same letters.
We should also read what they write, I value when current and graduated students send me their work to read and respond to. It’s why we get such a positive response when authors visit and kids are eager to get feedback from those making it in the business. Give praise and feedback to our students because they will then value their own voice in writing and keep that flame alive.