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As teachers we should be very careful on how to communicate with our students as the tone, language and actions determine the ambience of the learning environment- and we surely want a positive one. Care should always be taken with the words we use and the manner in which these are said. We should convey respect, friendliness and even seriousness however, this is not always as easy as it seems!
As we are role models for our students, one important thing when communicating is to model a positive behaviour and discuss this kind of behaviour with the students. This helps them to feel safer, at ease and cared for. 3 ways on how we can model positive behaviour are by:
Another important aspect is using specific language for feedback and praise. Students feel so good whenever teachers praise them and this motivate them to work harder! We should encourage students by making use of words which rather than judge, they describe. This also depends on the approach we use. Body language is fundamental in teaching! It builds a stronger rapport with your students and shows a certain level of discipline and command. There is a never ending list of body language that we should adopt; however, sometimes what works with my class does not necessarily work with yours, so every teacher should amend according to the class needs.
Another feature is engaging in appropriate conversation and discussions with your students. This helps not only in gaining trust, but also in earning respect not just as their teacher in the class, but also after school hours. Sometimes care must be taken to avoid a conversation getting too uncomfortable. This is when discussing personal elements and politics. I believe that similar conversation should be done after or before, and not during a lesson, as it is not fair for other students to waste valuable class time.
To have a healthy communication with your students, one should avoid power struggles with any misbehaved students. Try to engage these students and understand any reasons for this behaviour and their social and home life, by putting yourself in their shoes. We should show them how to deal with confrontation, surely not but fighting and arguing but by civil conversations. Last 2 important things are to communicate via technology and be humoristic. Using humour creates an enthusiastic, optimistic more relaxed learning environment and this is what we eventually want. To make it more creative make use of technology, to satisfy the student’s needs. Today student live in a technological world so it is a necessity that teachers try to embed technology in their class. I know it might not be easy, especially when deciding what technology to use; however, it will surely interest and help everyone.
“As you delve into the technology of 21st Century teaching, do so with curiosity and confidence, knowing that one of the greatest gifts we can give our students is new ways to learn.” – Sarah Brown Wessling.
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