Face to Face

This is my maternal grandmother, Rivkah Miriam Rokeach Twersky Novoseller who was born in 1894. She was a Hebrew teacher in Odessa and then later a Rebetzin in Philadelphia.

Rivka Miriam

Here is what she used to say about meetings; “Meetings! All that you do at a meeting – is plan the next meeting.” Please say this to yourself with a heavy Russian accent for the full flavor of the quote.

Not sure what my Bobie would be saying about the amount of meetings her namesake and granddaughter is engaged in during any given week. The norm is  8 – 10 set weekly meetings. It can be daunting. Some might ask,”when does the work get done – if you are stuck  in meetings all day?”  This my friends, is the work. And these meetings are in addition to the board and committee level meetings and individual meetings that get set up with parents and community members which vary week to week and day to day.

Here is a handy dandy explanation of why meetings are critical from…Meetings.org

Why Have a Meeting?
The most common reason to have a meeting is to discuss something face to face. It could be a new idea, a new opportunity, a problem, to brainstorm something, reach a decision about something or any number of things. But it all comes down to discussion and face to face interaction.

I love that this website, which is all about making the most of meetings, repeats twice, in that one short paragraph the idea of face-to-face. This is really what it is all about. Doing the best for our students and our families means sitting together with people and taking the time to work through challenges and opportunities.

Emmanuel Levinas, French Jewish philosopher, returns often to his central idea of the human face; “The epiphany of any other person is ipso facto my responsibility toward him: seeing the other is already an obligation toward him.” And this – “In the innocence of our daily lives, the face of the other signifies above all a demand. The face requires you, calls you…”

This is why we meet. So folks, when anything comes up an idea, a thought or something that gives you pause – please give me a call and — let’s meet!


3 thoughts on “Face to Face

  1. I appreciated this post as it elegantly blends some history, philosophy, and modern management, three of my favorite things. Well two of three, anyway.

  2. Too many meetings now are via conference call. As the world of education, business and life in general becomes seemingly smaller and smaller this is just what it has to be. I do prefer face-to-face meetings. Body language and the story told by the eyes are sometimes give off the most powerful messages in a meeting. These are not to be ignore.

    On another note, my grandmother was born in 1895 in Odessa. Maybe they knew each other — one will never know.

  3. Teachers spend a lot of their time accomplishing “meeting-like” work with colleagues via email… because they spend all day in “meetings” with their students… but the times we manage to have face-to-face time together are critical to our professional relationships.

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