Miscommunication Complications

The biggest improvement my organization could make would be to better its communication between the head of the school and the teachers, because this improvement would ultimately remedy the discrepancies among the teachers. It is understood that our schedules vary from day to day depending on our students’ typically unpredictable availability (this is due to the students’ unreliable work and/or transportation situations), and everyone has become adept at being flexible. Nevertheless, there have been times when those in charge of finalizing the schedule have failed to convey schedule changes or other important details to those under them, resulting in teachers being either under-prepared or completely prepared without a class to teach. Both of these scenarios lead to confusion and frustration among the teachers. These occasional issues only happen when the school’s leader has made one of the teachers aware of the situation and assumed that the word would be passed along; however, it would be more effective if the leadership team made a direct announcement to all teachers.    

Miscommunications such as these make for unclear instructions and an unorganized environment, hindering the employees from being as efficient and productive as they could be otherwise. The teachers would certainly like to collaborate with each other more and work together as a team, but it is nearly impossible for them to do so without knowing which hours to block out for leading a class vs. at what times they will be free to assist in a different classroom. Specifically, the three of us interns are rarely given more than a 24-hour notice regarding the agenda for the day. Whether we will be in the classroom, assisting administratively, or on a field trip the next day is almost always a guessing game. Without knowing for certain what the plan for the day ahead is, we have a rather hazy sense of direction, making it difficult to know what is expected of us. Granted, much of this lack of communication is cultural. Indonesians are not ones for planning, and time is a loose concept here. Although there is a degree of freedom in not being constricted by a rigid schedule, it is also beneficial to be able to be prepared for the day’s activities. I think a balance between these two aspects is attainable. A stronger emphasis on communication from the school’s leader, with more of an effort being made to provide employees the information necessary for managing their time and resources, would help to avoid potential last minute stress.

One thought on “Miscommunication Complications

  • June 13, 2019 at 11:01 am

    It does sound like you have to be really fluid and flexible, both in working with the students, the cultural concept of time, and the lack of communication about the schedule. And obviously, such limited communication impacts the ability for individuals to collaborate. So, is there anything you can do – any way to share your insights, make suggestions/recommendations, etc?

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