Categorized | Opinion

There is a better way to communicate

Principal Stephen Ngo’s excessive use of the intercom kept happening – day after day, once a day or several times in the same day, throughout December and January.

The Star doubts he knows how these announcements were received. Besides the eye rolls and groans, typical comments were –

“Annoying.”

“Rude.”

“Repetitive.”

“Too loud; he’s yelling, not talking.”

“Ineffective.”

We understand that Mr. Ngo’s goal in using the intercom is to communicate with students.

Although most of the staff members of the Star think the uniform policy harms rather than helps the school (in part because it is impossible to enforce completely), we understand that once a policy is set that Mr. Ngo wants students to follow it.

Obviously, no students should be in the hallways instead of class. Mr. Ngo wants students there, and wanted teachers to be aware that some students were leaving early.

He wants students to push hard at the finish line of the semester.

However, there is a better way to communicate these ideas and policies than using the intercom and loudly interrupting classes. The following are suggestions we’d like Mr. Ngo to consider the next time he feels the desire to blast a message:

  • Give information to teachers and tell them to talk to their students in a class discussion.
  • Share your message in a grade level town hall meeting.
  • Email students and parents.
  • Send a phone message to families
  • Talk to the individuals who aren’t following policies or are struggling.
  • Start communicating these things at the beginning of the year and consistently throughout the semester; don’t wait until things seem so urgent.
  • Don’t just demand things, explain to students why they’re important (but not on the the intercom).
  • If you feel you have to use the intercom make announcements, use it during the passing periods or during the regular announcement period after 1st period or before school begins.

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