Communicating With Your Learners
Communication forms a pivotal role within the classroom and is an essential skill for any teacher to master. It could be verbal, nonverbal and in written form throughout the learning process. Communication to some degree also involves inter personal skills which tests a teacher's ability to listen and respond in a wide variety of different situations.
Good communication with students can not only develop respect and good behaviour but also help facilitate the learning process, leading to improved results.
Communication traditionally could be seen as the messages two people give to each other. This could be in conversation, written or through social media. However it also involves other factors such as body language, gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice.
Body language will always be important when you communicate with your learners. Teachers can control the way they smile, deliver hand signals and even laugh. It is also possible to monitor the body language of the students to see if they are responding well to the messages of the lesson.
Examples of successful communication include:
- Oral communication, i.e tone of voice, speaking whilst facing the learners, the clarity of the message and how concise you are.
- Written communication, i.e quality of presentation, handouts and work books. Spelling, grammar and punctuation sets the tone and delivers a clear message
- Non verbal, i.e eye contact, posture appearance and overall body language
- Listening skills, i.e eye contact, not judgmental and not interrupting
Lesley was having a bad day which is a reality of life and was unknown to her maths teacher Mr Smith. Her mind was in a different place and she was struggling to grasp the teacher's messages.
Mr Smith wrote down a complex algebra equation on the board and turned to face the learners to convey the messages behind what he had written. He subconsciously scanned the room to see how they were all responding and noticed that Lesley's eyes had dropped and she appeared to be frowning. Mr Smith paused, looked directly at Lesley and delivered the message again in a different way. He noticed that she nodded her head, smiled and now appeared to understand the equation. Just to make sure he asked a question to Lesley that did not involve a yes / no response and was confident enough to move on.