Teacher Tip Tuesday: Reply All Ralph (and Ramona)

Happy Tuesday!  

These posts are for new and old school employees--ideas about the profession, classroom management tips, and teacher/school humor.  Feel free to add your stories, tips, and topic ideas below in the comment section.

It's forecasted to be a cold and wintery week here in our neck of the woods.  All of the students and teachers are anxiously checking the weather and news to see if there will be any interruption in our school days this week.  Nothing like an unexpected delay or early release!

Today's tip is a followup of a post I wrote in October during my 31 Days with Mama A. series regarding email offenders at work.  Y'all--I've discovered some new friends and I'd like to introduce you to them this morning:

Reply All Ralph (or Reply All Ramona):  These friends like to reply all to company and school-wide emails with their individual questions or responses.  They love to add their two cents to every conversation regardless of the sender's content.  A lot of their email subjects are simply "Re:   " because they love a good reply.

Now, to be clear, there are few times a reply all is actually necessary, helpful, and/or appropriate.  These times would include:

  • Sharing an accomplishment about a co-worker.  For example: We receive an email that Jane has recently scored 100% on her Rocket Science Degree placement test!  It's ok to reply all with something like "Yay Jane!" or "We are all so proud of you!"  That makes Jane feel good and it shows camaraderie among the staff.  
  • Sharing family news--i.e. a death, birth.  It is perfectly ok for someone to reply all with a question to the general staff asking if anyone would like to help arrange meals for the individual or to pass along words of encouragement and/or prayers to the family. 
  • Having a group conversation via email when face-to-face is not feasible or necessary.  
These are times when it is NOT appropriate to reply all:
  •  There is an email sent to the entire staff concerning the upcoming picnic and Reply All Ralph sends an email to everyone asking the original sender if there will be molasses-free cookies at the event because he does not like molasses cookies in the winter.  Reply All Ralph needs to realize that he has not been voted as Chief Cookie Representative 2015 and does not need to speak for the group at large.  
  • Reply All Ramona gets irritated when she reads an email that the copier is going to be serviced between the hours of 12-2am and she fires back a snarky reply all email demanding to know which individual decided to repair the copier during the middle of the night when no one is going to be around because she knows that there are other coworkers who feel the same as she does and everyone wants answers.  Reply All Ramona also suffers from Queen B Complex.   
Obviously, these situations are ridiculous, but I am sure there are folks who have seen some ridiculous reply all emails filling their inboxes.  Always ask yourself if your intentions are good before sending a reply all--there is enough negativity in the schools.  Also, ask yourself if everyone needs to receive your email or can you simply reply to the sender?  Need a good rule of thumb?  Reply All should only be used for kindness and compassion, never to insult.    

Use your email for good folks and have a great day!

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