Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Paying Attention: An Update on my Ebook about Communication in Schools

I am happy to announce that I have, for the most part, completed my first ebook.  The book is about communication in schools and is intended to be the first in a series of three ebooks concerning my 3 Pillars to Uphold a Student-Centered Culture blog post.

I am working on publishing the ebook, Paying Attention: Thoughts on Communication in Schools, through Amazon Kindle publishing.  I hope to have an update on that soon and will make an announcement once it is available via Amazon Kindle.

In the meantime, here is a sample from the ebook.  Enjoy.

Introduction

At the time of writing this book, I am working as the Head of Middle School at a private Preschool (3 year olds) through 12th grade independent school in Northern Virginia. As the leader of a Middle School division, I am constantly faced with issues of communication. While I believe in always trying to improve, I also recognize that there are contextual challenges that are present in some situations more than others. In other words, what may work in one situation may not necessarily work in every situation, especially when we try to communicate with a diverse audience. This explains why some movies do better in some markets than they do in others.

Middle School presents a number of communication challenges.

Imagine this scenario.

You are teaching a coed 7th grade (12 and 13 year olds) class. Your class has 21 students. Within this group are 7 families that believe their children are still in 3rd grade, 7 families that fully understand and realize the changing nature of their children in school, and 7 families that think their children are already in high school. Throw into this mix the fact that a few students are an only child, a few that are the oldest, a few that are the youngest, and a few that are living in multiple homes with separated or divorced parents.

If understanding, connecting, and relating to your audience is a factor in good communication (and it is); then it is easy to see why communication is often reported as one of the factors parents believe the school needs to improve and the school believes it is doing very well.

Although I am not a communications expert, I do, however, believe that if one can navigate Middle School communications effectively, they must have something of value to share with others looking for tips about school communication. It is from this platform and from observing numerous teachers that I draw the suggestions in this book.

When it comes to communication, I believe we all can do better. I know for certain that I can.

This book is a gift to those needing a little push or support in the area of school communication. It certainly has been one for me and I hope it is for you.

The suggestions offered in this book are based on the concept of establishing clear, effective, and disciplined lines of communication. Some sections are more in-depth than others. Some sections are more self explanatory.


Either way, I try to provide enough information to help you reflect on your own communications and, when necessary, provide ideas for how to improve.

What you will not find are volumes of examples collected from various sources. While many nonfiction books are mostly small chunks of genuine wisdom filled with superfluous examples, I wanted to keep this book “lean and mean”; a resource you can read in one sitting and refer to often.

Pay Attention.

It’s time to begin.
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