Monday, April 19, 2004

I had a discussion about communication with someone today. As a teacher I have learned more and more about communication this year. The biggest lesson: I have a lot of work to do on communication. It seems that there is always that student who doesn't understand, or that co-worker who took it the wrong way. Or the friend whose feelings you can tell you hurt when you didn't mean to. Communication.
It's the key to everything. It can affect a mood in a second. It can be the difference between a right or wrong answer. It can keep you from getting lost, or help you get there. Communication.
It's tricky and frustrating and confusing. Once something is said, you can't ever take it back. It's there. It's in the open. You are communicating through words, through writing, through body language, through facial expressions. We even communicate with sounds. Amazing. So, how are we to keep it all straight? How am I to know what is right or what that person said. Do they really mean that?
We live in a society where exaggeration is the key to success...just check out commercials. We live in a society where the "little white lie" is what keeps everybody happy. It's no wonder the world is full of gray. It's no wonder that my students don't know how to treat one another. They can't communicate...and I struggle to communicate back.
I have spent most of this year communicating with my two best friends solely through email. Talk about challenging. It's difficult to really explain your day or what happened over an email. The stories just aren't as funny when I write them, and the situation is just not as tense in black and white. But it's been a challenge that has helped my friendships to remain stronge--even grow.
But that still hasn't solved all my communication issues. It's still hard to say I'm sorry or to stop myself from hurting someone's feelings. It's still hard to explain to 95 different learners why the comma goes here but not here or why we study mythology.
Maybe this is why I find my day so challenging on a regular basis. Communication. It challenges me. I have to work at it. But it really is the key. It's means the difference between right and left/forwards and backwards/moving or standing still.
I just read Julie's Easter blog and I have to say that Christ's example of communication was one with nothing hidden. He laid it out. In fact he put down his life in front of everyone for me. And you. He communicated that so that there is no question. Once again he is our example. It's amazing. If I just strive to be like him...maybe I'll find that communication that will help make the correct turn or go the right direction or start moving instead of standing still.