The power of what we say, how we say it and what we really mean can have impact far past what we may have consciously intended.
When writing 140 characters for a @twitter post we stop and think about what we want to say and how we can 'make it fit'. We get clever about adding an image, or a link to add detail, give meaning or make connections. We value what we say and value how people respond, if they do.
When we are communicating with our students do we stop and think about what we are really saying?
Reflecting on what we say and write is vital for meaningful communication.
Do your students value what you are saying? Is there actually anything to value?
When we read and comment on written and digital work, what does our feedback really say?
What does a check mark mean? 'I saw the page' or something else?
What do you mean when you write "good work" "great" or "keep trying" ? What will your student "do" with comments like that?
It takes time to open books to read student work. Those pages of student work represent thinking, collaboration, student understanding and so much more. If it is worth their time to do the work, then isn't it worth the effort to give comments that provide feedback and feed-forward that will say more than 'good work' or a smiley face or a check mark, or a number on the page.
When your student opens their work what message do you want them to get? Why will they bother to check what you wrote?
How can they continue to learn and develop understandings . . . have you suggested a next step . . . or provoked thinking . . . or asked questions ??
We have thousands of spoken interactions everyday with students, parents and colleagues. Do we stop and think about the words we say? Are we giving unintended messages? What do we really mean when we say something?
Whether you use twitter or not . . . there is power in thinking about the value of each of those 140 characters . . .
When we take the time to say what we really mean, to think about how our words can add value, support learning, build relationships, create trust and an environment for learning that embraces positive communication. Then we are in a place where we are providing 'feedback and 'feed-forward' that our students will value and use to take their learning further.