Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Conversations we never want to have

As educators, we try very hard not to have conversations with our administrators. Usually it not a good thing if we are called to the principal's office. If we are called in, what do we do?

Some administrators are incompetent, not supportive, lack communication skills and not compassionate.

"You can visit pity city, but you can't live there," Kristin Gilger, associate dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, said to a group of high school teachers.

Gilger gave the 2010 Reynolds Institute teachers some helpful tips on how to conduct
themselves while talking to their bosses. She reminded the teachers that they have to pick their battles, but if the time comes, they need to know how to handle the situation.

1. Be prepared
2. Assess your own emotional state
3. Empathy is important
4. Use "I" words instead of "You" words.
5. People are not persuaded by facts.
6. Acknowledge their perspective/ demonstrate that you understand.

The groups of journalism teachers then put her advise to practice by conducting mock conversations with a partner. One person being the teacher and the other being the principal.

Although the time spent in the mock conversations was entertaining, the teachers understood where each person was coming from.

Leona O'Neal
George County High School
Lucedale, Miss

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