Thursday, February 20, 2014

On Email

I love email. If I should wake up at 2 AM and decide to write you, I don't have to wake you. (I hope you appreciate my consideration.) I can wait for you to get back to me, and if you don't, I can remind you any hour day or night without putting you out too much.

Now that many of us have smartphones, we see email a lot more frequently. I keep two accounts on my smartphone, and the rest I check whenever I get around to it.

Of course we now have text messages, which to me, appear marginally more immediate than email. Perhaps this is because who can text you could also call, which means you've given those folks a more immediate option than just writing.

Some people think it's a good idea to email parents and let them know how kids are doing. I don't. Particularly, if there's a problem with a student, I want to be as intrusive and inconvenient as possible. I don't want parents to peruse an email at their leisure. For that, I prefer old-fashioned phone calls.

There's something about a ringing phone, something that says, "Stop whatever you're doing and answer me right now!" That's the point from which I like to commence parental contact.

I once had a part-time supervisor sitting in for one who'd been removed. She left a message for me that a parent had called on a Thursday and asked me to see her about it on the next Tuesday, when she was coming back. I found out who the parent was, contacted her on Friday, and worked out whatever it was. The following Thursday I got called into the part-time AP's office, and chided for not getting in touch with her sooner. She was pretty surprised I'd actually taken care of it. But I'm a parent, and I hate it when teachers don't get back to me, so I try to get back to them quickly.

There's an email address to the right of this post. I just checked it. There is an incredible amount of crap in that box. Everyone wants to write for this blog, it seems. All I have to do is post a link back to whatever organization for which they work. I'm invited to this and that forum to discuss all sorts of topics. Can we please post advertising on your blog? People with any peripheral relation to education feel the need to write me.

Gmail is pretty good. You press a spam button, and you never see these folks again. Nonetheless, you cut off one head, and three more grow back. I apologize in advance to anyone sending me legitimate correspondence, though it seems to come less and less frequently. I invariably ask people with legitimate concerns to write back at another address.

Right now I'm actively using four addresses. I have one that's my personal address, one for the blog, one for school business, and one that I give to any and all with whom I do business and from which I expect spam. That's not counting my DOE email, which I look at every few days but don't use all that often.

How many email addresses do you need? What do you use them for?
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