As the famous Japanese proverb goes,
“Better than a thousand days studying diligently is one day with a great teacher.”
That is the profound impact of teaching. Sure it is a very challenging role. When handling just one kid can seem like a Herculean task to parents, a teacher has to handle at least twenty at a go!
It is not easy to put yourself in a place where you are responsible for nurturing young minds. Let alone being able to communicate with them effectively so they soak up every lesson you have to offer in the best way possible.
That said, though it might be difficult, it is far from impossible. With some initiative from your end, you can improve teacher-student relationship and garner respect among your students.
Here are some tips to improve communication that can help you out.
- Move around the classroom
- Listen proactively
- Create a healthy, nurturing atmosphere
- Encourage kids to work as a team
- Give positive feedback
- Use audio-visual teachings aids
It is common practice for teachers to teach sitting or standing in front of the class. However, it is not the best way to go. If you want to create better dialogue between you and your students, it is vital to move around the class and get involved with the learning process of your students.
When you leave your desk behind and come to their desks to discuss ideas or monitor their progress, you break the barrier of poor communication. Students feel less afraid and are more likely to open up when they see how willing you are to talk to them.
This can be particularly beneficial for shy, slow-paced or afraid students. Also, by moving around the classroom, you increase the chances of all of the students following your instructions down to T.
As you move around the class, you might find that kids have a lot of queries. And that brings us to the next tip to improve communication.
Listen to what your students have to say.
Instead of responding immediately. Simply by lending them an ear, you can make your students feel heard, that their opinions are valued. Even if those opinions do not always materialise into a takeaway or an important piece of information.
Listening to your students and engaging in listening activities has other benefits too. For example, by actively hearing out their queries during listening activities, you can get the chance to help them in a better way. It will give you a deeper insight into how your students grasp what you teach, and thus, you will be able to help them assimilate the lessons taught. Not to mention, help inculcate good listening skills and empathy among your students simply by engaging in listening activities with them.
That is why this is one of the effective communication strategies you must adopt.
Speaking of effective communication strategies, creating a supportive environment for your students is just as important.
When students feel safe and secure in their classroom, they perform better. By creating a nurturing environment, you instil in them the confidence that their requirements will be met within the purview of this safe space.
You can easily foster a welcoming atmosphere by maintaining transparency and openness. When you show your students that you are accessible, they will turn to you whenever they have any queries or doubts or need some extra explanation to better understand the lesson being taught.
As a teacher though, you will also need to realise that each student has their own pace. So create an atmosphere when students with slow-paces can ask questions without the fear of being judged or mocked. Offer them additional support as and when they need.
To improve teacher-student communication, you always have to teach your students the value of effective communication. Something they can only grapes when they are in a similar position as you.
Enter group projects!
Group projects are a great way to inculcate the values of collaboration, cooperation and communication among kids. When they work together, they are less focused on individual competitiveness, driven to perform in the best way possible as a group. Something that is impossible without communicating right.
The good thing about encouraging team activities is that once kids learn how to collaborate and communicate, they will apply these traits to all aspects of their lives, now or beyond.
As for how you can introduce more group activities to promote teacher-student communication, try starting small with a class quiz. You can build upon this with elaborate group projects, such as an intra-classroom science fair, show and tell and the like.
For kids, positive feedback is a stimulus to do better.
While it is important to discipline your students if they cross the line, it is just as crucial to reward them if they do something right.
Getting scolded too often and not getting credit when they deserve it can discourage students and make them feel misunderstood and alienated. This can negatively affect both their behaviour in the classroom as well as their academic performance.
However, if you keep congratulating them for their smaller and bigger victories, you motivate them to keep up the good work they do while increasing their self-confidence.
Part of encouraging effective classroom communication is keeping kids engaged and hooked to learning. Granted this is not easy as kids can get distracted quickly. However, if you make use of audio-visual aids to enhance your teaching, you will certainly be able to grasp your students’ attentions.
What’s more, by creating a stimulating environment where a lot of visual aids accompany lessons, you will inspire your students to be more creative by piquing their curiosity. And once a student takes an active part in learning, they are more open to talking to their teachers.
At EuroKids, we take every step necessary to implement effective classroom communication. Our entire teaching staff has been trained to communicate their lessons, ideas and instructions in a clear and engaging manner so students can absorb the information that is being passed on. To know more about how we do this, visit your nearest EuroKids centre.