If you asked me what is the most important skill for anyone to learn, I would not hesitate to say, ‘Relationship Building.’ With the right skills, the biggest of challenges can be overcome whether they are with our partners, children, friends, families or colleagues.
To be able to form a relationship, we have to begin by communicating.
If you asked me what is the most important skill to learn so you can build lasting relationships, I would say, there isn’t one, it’s a puzzle of small pieces that when put them together they make a complete picture and foundation for life.
“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.” Goethe
The classroom can be a place of learning or it can be a battle ground!
Which classroom are you teaching in? How do you feel about your classroom?
What does it take to be a teacher you may well ask? A Diploma in Education and Teaching? Is that it? Well, you may be a professor and know all there is to know about any subject but that does not make you ‘a teacher’ or someone good at teaching, good at communicating.
If you cannot be understood by your class, if they do not feel listened to or cared about by you so that they feel they are in a safe and secure environment, then you are not creating the environment they need in which they will maximise their learning…. you are not doing your job. Being a teacher is more than imparting information!
If your goal is to be an effective teacher, then it is worth looking at how you communicate and whether your communication skills can be improved. No one is perfect and there is always something we can improve. The benefit? Improved classroom climate, better learning and who knows, these improvements may even spill over into your personal life!
When effective communication is missing, Teachers can misunderstand behaviour or be ignorant of children’s needs and expectations; furthermore children may not feel listened to or feel understand, and then they start acting out in other ways to get their needs met.
You can probably think of many occasions when a lack of communication has left you feeling angry or worried.
Being a teacher can be a really rewarding profession. Sometimes there are those moments when everything that you have been taught does not help you at all in a situation.
Ever had the nightmare class/pupil? Where the ‘behaviour’ is something that you have not experienced that often, where they push you to your limits, where punishments and rewards simply do not work in the same way they have with other classes. They don’t’ bother to do their work, they are constantly playing “tricks” , yelling out across the room, unsettled, no concentration. How on earth do you get these ‘kids’ to settle down and do their work?
Ever had a child where you feel nothing at all is working? You just can’t find the way to get this child ‘on board’, you feel stuck, like there are obstacles in the way and you just don’t how to remove them. Ever felt like this?
The response we get often depends on how we communicate. ‘Effective’ communication is what makes relationships work. Communication is what resolves conflicts.
Communication really is the TOOL that unlocks/unblocks the way and allows us to form or repair relationships. Effective communication will mean the classroom experience will be better, not just for the child but also the teacher.
Ever experienced this?
If you are not feeling listened to (then the way is blocked)
If you are arguing and not getting anywhere (then the way is blocked)
If you are feeling over powered (then the way is blocked)
If your needs are not being met (then the way is blocked)
If you are not compromising on anything (then the way is blocked)
If you are using punishments to get things done (then the way is blocked and more barriers are being built)
If you are using rewards to get things done (then the way is blocked but it is a step to building the relationship and finding another way in)
If there is resistance and temper tantrums (then the way is blocked)
And what unblocks the way? Effective communication!
Communication is the TOOL to getting co-operation with your class.
Communication is the TOOL that allows us to feel understood.
Communication is the TOOL for resolving conflicts between teachers and children.
Communication is the TOOL to let children know what your needs are and how best to meet those needs.
Communication is the TOOL to fewer conflicts in the classroom and in the playground.
Communication is the TOOL to building self confidence and self esteem.
Communication is the TOOL to feeling listened to by your class.
Communication is the TOOL to mutual respect in the classroom.
Communication is the TOOL to less resistance & more cooperation.
Communication is the TOOL to everyone feeling safe to be themselves.
Communication is the TOOL to more fun for everyone in the classroom.
This information will improve your chances of getting the way unblocked, removing all obstacles to learning and creating a classroom of respect, understanding, safety, cooperation and FUN.