The average adult female speaks about 5,000 words a day and the average male about 2,000 …yah, yah, yah (we women admit to talking more). Interestingly enough, only a small percentage of either gender’s words actually communicate something meaningful!
While the quantity of words spoken is perhaps not significant, what is said is important.
The fifth Institute for Excellence in Education (IEE) belief is: The quality of adult conversations in schools mediates student success. What we as educators talk about matters greatly as it impacts students learning and welfare.
Whether we are having a 90 second conversation in the hall or meeting as a PLC or engaged in dialogue during a staff meeting, the content and tone of that talk influences students’ lives. Adult conversations in schools have an enormous impact on the culture of the building. If we allow ourselves to spend time in gripe sessions bemoaning our fate as educators, then those conversations translate into a doom and gloom culture.
However, when teachers are engaged in conversations around meeting the needs of students, focused on using data to inform teaching, and supporting one another to build strong relationships with all students, the school culture is a caring one and teacher efficacy is high. In fact, one of the most helpful things we can do for our colleagues is to not allow them to wallow in the victim mode. While it is important to listen, it is also extremely important to encourage colleagues to focus on matters over which they have control. We all lose our efficacy when we begin to focus on external factors that are outside of our control.
So, whether you utter 2,000 or 20,000 words today, let those words with colleagues be ones that support student success.