Miscommunication through minutes

So had a minor incident happen today. I was taking minutes for our weekly meeting, trying desperately to keep up and summarizing as I went. One of the things I wrote was apparently too much of a summary, and missed the gist of what was trying to be said.  As a result, someone else got into trouble for something that they probably would not have, had they been able to keep track of what was said.  This happens as a result of the failure of the written word, especially the poorly written and quickly done written word, to actually capture what everyone means.  It also happens because as human beings we often mean to say something, or phrase something in a certain way, and oops, out comes something else.

Anyway, a solution we are going to try is to make the process of creating the minutes more open.  I’ll post a Google doc (that everyone can edit) and people can add their agenda items to the Google doc as the week progresses.  This way, we will all have control over what is published about our meeting, and as the week unfolds, people get updates and information on an ongoing basis, rather than in a short 20 minute meeting before a busy school day.  At the meeting itself, we may find that we are discussing issues more rather than giving brief summaries of things going on and trying to jam them into 30 second blurbs.

This process won’t replace the meetings we have, which I think are a great way to connect during the week, and reduce some of the teacher isolation that normally occurs.  I’m just hopeful it will help clear up misunderstandings, and oversimplification of complicated ideas that are conveyed in these meetings.

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