In a recent post (December 15th, Lost and Found) on Quiddity, Andrew brought the idea to my attention that schools are sustained by three “life forces”: (1) money, (2) energy, and (3) goodwill.
It made me think…
While Andrew discussed how to sustain these through communication, etc. (check out the post), I began to ponder: “What is the fastest way to drain a school of these rivers of school life?” The first answer that came to my mind may be the right answer: parental gossip. Here’s why.
Parental gossip at a school strikes at all three.
- It compromises the goodwill of a school by questioning the validity of proper channels of communication and arousing suspicion.
- It drains the energy of a school by devaluing teachers, administration, and even other parents by not focusing energy in a constructive way and distracting the energy of others.
- And, ultimately, can and will dissuade other parents from considering enrolling in the school or continuing to have their students enrolled in the school, therefore affecting the money of that school.
I believe that I always understood that gossip (not just parents, but even among teachers, administrators, etc.) was destructive, but just recently I have understood more precisely why it takes such a toll on a school.