I’ve mentioned before, that I’m a “creature of habit,” and I am in many ways, including one way that has never made it to a blog post. Every day, after school, I work with my teaching partner to collect the documentation from the day, reflect on it, and share it through our class blog. Depending on the length of our discussions and the amount of documentation to upload, we don’t always manage to finish our nightly blog post before dinner. Dinner is what I use as my guide to determine “lateness.” Thanks to Aaron Puley, a few educator in our Board, we’ve started adding extension activities at the end of our nightly blog posts. We want parents to have a chance to extend our class learning at home, so if we’re not done sharing our documentation prior to 6:00, I send out an email letting parents know that we’re running late, but that they can find examples of our documentation through my Twitter account. It’s the wording of this email that inspired tonight’s blog post.
A wonderful parent pointed out something to me this evening — with the very kindest of words — that made me realize I need to do a little reframing. I have a terrible habit of starting our nightly emails with, “I’m sorry!” You wouldn’t think that apologizing for something would necessarily be a bad thing, but the questions remain,
- What am I apologizing for?
- Do I need to apologize?
- How might a different start change the tone of our message?
This parent wondered how a big, “Hello Parents!” might change the tone. She even spoke about beginning with the words, “What an amazing day we had today!” This mom made me think about my one word goal for the year, and how a change in perspective might have me happily pointing people to the Twitter and Instagram posts: celebrating the sneak peek for the full post that is coming soon enough. This sneak peek is a good thing, and maybe it’s time that I started sharing it in this positive way.
Years ago, one of my Grade 5 parents shared some similar words of advice, and I also appreciated her feedback. For the rest of the year, I remembered to avoid many of my nightly email apologies. But years have passed, and I think I forgot this mom’s words of wisdom. I’m thankful that another mom offered some similar advice.
Here’s how I’m seeing things tonight: we apologize when we make mistakes. (I make many.) A late blog post — especially one that may be late due to the planning and reflection time that I’m engaged in with my teaching partner — is not a mistake. And so, with this reminder, as hard as it may sometimes be, I’m going to work on reducing the “sorry’s” — at least in this case. Are there others out there that also apologize when maybe a “sorry” isn’t necessary? How do you decide when it is? There’s something to be said about knowing when to apologize, but maybe there’s also something to be said about knowing when not to.