An aspect of my job that I always enjoy is the face to face communication I have with students, staff, parents and the local community.
An aspect of my job that I always enjoy is the face to face communication I have with students, staff, parents and the local community. This week, amongst my day to day work, I have been privileged to speak to so many different people, from all walks of life. To look back on my fortunate conversations, I have spoken to our whole staff about our exciting plans for this academic year, met with my Extended Project Qualification students, Katie, Kate and Cara, regarding their individual projects – all of which are diverse and challenging and discussed the progress of many of our Year 11 students at our Consultation Evening on Wednesday, which was delightful. Such communication allows me to see first-hand how our students have gained in confidence over the years and to receive such positive feedback from parents is truly inspiring and gratifying. Over the course of the last 5 years, I really have got to know our parents and our discussions provide a lovely opportunity to catch up about their daughter’s progress and life in general.
This, followed by meeting so many enthusiastic students and parents at our External 16+ Open Evening on Thursday, was a real insight into how our visitors perceive education. I am always amazed at how everyone looks for different things in a school and in their own education. But, I do believe that this is how it should be! Education should be personalised and so should our conversations. I like the fact that I can take time to talk to people and I view it as an integral part of my job. If we did not meet people face to face, we would not be anywhere near as informed as to how we all differ and think so differently – essentially helping me to develop Invicta.
On Thursday afternoon, I spoke to many of our prospective parents and students following our Primary Maths Challenge. To find out about parents’ different professions, home locations, childhood education and viewpoints is both really interesting and something that I reflect upon on a daily basis, in order to continually shape our school. On Friday, along with our MP, Helen Grant, who has been a superb supporter of Invicta, I was able to meet with other members of Maidstone Borough Council, Kent County Council and Arriva. This was as a result of a culmination of individual meetings, frustrated e-mails and letter correspondence over the course of the last few years, with a view to improving the transport offer for our students. It really hit home to me, how meeting approximately 20 people who I had previously conversed with electronically but had no personal relationship with, suddenly became so much more approachable, affable and co-operative. We really did move forward on developing a better strategy for transport in Maidstone. The value of face to face communication was so clearly apparent in the results of this meeting. Charles Dickens, once wrote ‘Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with his soul encourages another person to be brave and true’. This could not be more accurate! At our meeting on Friday, people were true and brave and I see this on a day to day basis, whereby staff, students and parents are much braver when they speak to you personally and look you in the eye. In contrast, I have witnessed so much frustration and pain when people communicate electronically; e-mail communication is sometimes difficult to read and subsequently impersonal, which can create upset. So perhaps, we should advocate more face to face communication and use this as a valuable opportunity to get to know people for who they truly are – undoubtedly interesting people who have lots to offer! I will continue to thoroughly enjoy meeting people as an important aspect of my job and work to ensure that our students will follow my example – not just for now, but for life! I really do value e-mail and know that I could not live easily without it, but the impact of a personal conversation cannot be underestimated.