Monday, June 11, 2012

Managing Email For Teachers & Administrators - Part 1 in a Series

Do you feel overwhelmed by the amount of email that you receive?  I often hear teachers and administrators remark in frustration that they "hate" email and get just too much!  This series will focus on ways to get control of the email that educators receive and make it manageable and efficient.  

Now, let's be honest.  None of this information will help if you don't actually implement it.  So, the first step is a commitment to give these suggestions a try.  If you will give these ideas 30 days to see if they make a difference, I believe you will feel more positively or at least less overwhelmed by your email. If you are ready to do that, then you are ready to gain control of your email and reduce the frustration and stress (yes, stress!) that you now feel.

The first step is understanding why email can seem so overwhelming.  Do you remember the way educators used to do it?  We used to visit  our boxes a couple of times a day and collect countless hard copy messages, ads (spam?), snail mail and a variety of other communication documents.  I don't know about you but I was required to visit my box at least 3 times a day, morning, lunch, and upon leaving.  Now, I was never the teacher whose classroom was by the teacher boxes so I had quite a walk to make this happen and I often lost a good percentage of my lunch time checking it.

But, here's the deal.  The bulk of the responsibility used to be on the sender of the message.  They had to create the message, print it out, address and stamp or sort to the various teachers.  And, when mailing items, there was postage to consider.  Postage incurred costs and so this meant folks thought twice before sending things out by postal mail.

But now, email has completely changed all of this.  There is no cost involved and we can write every thought in an email and send it out to multiple recipients in seconds.  Bam...instant overload!  And, be honest now, all of us complain about it and all of us have done this very thing!

Technology will likely bring changes to the communication systems we use but for now, email is the standard.  So, our best bet to deal with it is with it!  And, that's what this series is going to hopefully do.  Provide steps to begin dealing with that overstuffed email inbox and develop a system that frees up time and makes you more effective and efficient!
I encourage to comment and post questions and thoughts and tips of your own as the series continues!  If you find these posts of use, please let me know!  If not, I'd like to know that, too.  And, with that, I leave you with a question I hope you'll take a moment and post a response to....Does email overwhelm your work life as an educator?  Do you hate it?  Or, do you feel you have it under control and love the sound of the pop-up telling you have an email?  What's your email story?


  1. Hi Carol!
    I've enjoyed reading your series - you did a good job and have some good tips there. Some of them I'm already doing, or wouldn't work for me, but others - like turning off automatic notification (or the sound so I don't hear that tempting 'ding'!) are things I could implement. It's good to read these things to get an idea of how others can organise their outlook.


  2. Email is a constant albatross around my neck. As each year passes, I am needing to be in my office more and more. And, I therefore have less human interaction in a profession where human contact is so valued and valuable. Ugh.

  3. I hope you'll find some value in my series of posts on this topic! I've made progress using these tips on my own but I'm constantly looking for more! If you find any, please share!