Often, someone will contact me when they've had a problem with a teacher. They want to get my opinion regarding curriculum or grading or another concern and I am happy to offer whatever insight I may have. Occasionally, I will tell them that I think the teacher is wrong and they have a legitimate complaint, but encourage them to approach the teacher with the concern first. Most often it is simply miscommunication.
But sometimes, teachers and other folks who work with the public can be butts. Shannon ran into one of those at her beloved public library, and now she's never going back.
There is a trick that I try to remember when I'm dealing with a parent or a student and I'm afraid the situation could escalate--I try to remember to THINK before I speak. (I got this from a poster, but they wouldn't have posted it if they didn't want me to use it to help others!)
(PS--I know what y'all are thinking: that I'm some kind of loose cannon who goes all ape$hit and has no filter. That's just in my personal life, not my professional one. And DL can't send me back, so it's okay.)
So, here's what you want to THINK about before you say something that might cause hard feelings:
*Is it True?
*Is it Helpful?
*Is it Inspirational?
*Is it Necessary?
*Is it Kind?
As bloggers, these are good words to keep in mind when we comment, as well. I know folks who have received some very nasty comments on a project or décor choices, and frequently they will laugh it off as if it's a sort of badge of honor, but let's be honest--it's not nice. I once had someone call me stupid on one of my posts, which hurt my feelings (even though I know that of all the things I am? Stupid is not one of them). Even when I disagree with someone, or know they have their facts wrong, or they have something on their blog that's blatantly misspelled, I'm not going to say anything if I don't THINK first.
I wish Shannon's librarian had thought about these questions before she'd had the exchange with Shannon. I wish others would THINK before making an already tense situation even worse. I find that keeping these questions in mind keeps things from getting out of control. And makes for much nicer commenting.