Revamping Your Communication Plan: Are You Communicating to Connect?

Debbie TannenbaumBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Innovate Better, Reflect Better


  • Check in with others by focusing on connection rather than action. 
  • Reach out to your colleagues and lean on each other.
  • Revamp your communication plan by considering new ways to reach out to your stakeholders to connect.  

I was thrilled to be a guest on the Daily Drop In with Rae Hughart. We discussed ways that we can revamp our communication plan. I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately.

Click here to watch!

As a tech coach, I communicate with a variety of stakeholders—administration, teachers, students, and more. In a year unlike any other, communication is everywhere you turn. The minute you read the emails in your inbox, they are replaced by even more emails. It can be overwhelming. I am sure I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed by an ever-growing inbox.

Consider new ways to reach out to your stakeholders to connect. Don't be surprised by the impact. Communicating to connect is always a winning strategy. Click To Tweet

Revisiting Email

In the past, email was an essential component of my communication plan. I thought that by sending an email, I allowed educators the option of choosing the right time to address that communication. My motivation for sending those emails was full of nothing but the best intentions. I wanted to honor my colleagues’ time, but the past few weeks, I have noticed that each email added to the inbox leads educators to feel that sense of being overwhelmed.

So this year, my focus has been different. I know that educators are struggling. Being an educator has never been harder in many ways. So rather than immediately send an email, this year my approach has been to “check in” with teachers.

What do I mean by a “check-in?”

That’s simple. I stop by a colleague’s classroom and see how they are doing. Rather than focusing on action from them, I focus on “connection.” I check to see how they are doing, how I can best support them. Sometimes, I accomplish that by just listening—helping my colleagues feel heard and acknowledged. It makes my mornings and afternoons before and after school one of the most meaningful parts of my day. I love checking in with my colleagues and building those relationships.

Don’t Underestimate the Impact of Unplugged Connection

I am a huge technology supporter. I love using technology to connect and learn with others. Becoming a connected educator totally changed my life. I share all about the impact being a connected educator has had on me in my book, TRANSFORM- Techy Notes to Make Learning Sticky. Definitely check that out if you want to learn more!

However, we live in a time right now where people, especially educators, need each other more than ever. Don’t teach behind a closed door; reach out to your colleagues and lean on each other. Connect with each other. That 3-5 minute check-in can totally change the trajectory for someone’s day.

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This works with students and parents too!

Yes, I am a tech coach and I spend a lot of time working with teachers, but I also work with parents and students too. Take time to connect with your students each day. A quick phone call to your families works wonders too. Email is an easy and quick way to communicate, but we also need to make time, especially now, for a quick phone call or two.

I know we are all super busy and overwhelmed, but remember we are all better together. Consider new ways to reach out to your stakeholders to connect.  Don’t be surprised by the impact. Communicating to connect is always a winning strategy.

About Debbie Tannenbaum

Debbie Tannenbaum is an Elementary School Technology Specialist in Fairfax County, VA. An educator with over twenty years of experience, Mrs. Tannenbaum is completing her second year in this role, where she supports both staff and students to integrate technology tools into instruction through both co-teaching sessions and weekly technology classes. Mrs. Tannenbaum is also an avid blogger and shares her thoughts and reflections on her website: Techy Notes. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram at @TannenbaumTech.