Every teacher knows the importance of effective communication. It’s essential for connecting with your classes, delivering lessons, and tracking student progress. Most importantly, it’s vital if you want pupils to engage with their education.
Still, classes and curriculums change each year, as do the kinds of tools available to teachers.
So, it’s always worth polishing up your communication skills.
In this article, we’ve compiled the best tips for communicating with your students in 2023.
- Tips to improve classroom communication
- How to master classroom communication
Tips to improve classroom communication
Every now and then, new tools appear that make classroom communication a little easier. For instance, did you know there are now text message services for business that can help in the schoolroom by disseminating important information among parents and students?
Here’s our list of the most important bases to cover when it comes to classroom communication.
1. Be a good listener
Communication 101: good communication requires you to speak and listen effectively. How you listen to your students is just as important as what you say to them.
This is a fundamental part of building relationships with pupils. When you listen attentively, you show students you care about understanding their perspectives. When supported in this way, a student will engage more in their education.
Moreover, the better you listen, the better you’ll know your students and their understanding of a topic. So, it can help you measure their progress too.
2. Go the extra mile
Primarily, this applies to the effort you put into lesson planning and the energy you give in class. Your enthusiasm for the subject matter is contagious and will help motivate students to learn.
If you really want to make a difference, try taking your teaching beyond the classroom. The main constraint to extra-curricular classes is attendance. Nowadays, however, there are remote and hybrid learning options that can help with this.
For example, you can use a virtual call system to run evening classes and tutoring sessions. Capitalize on the capacity for online communication to help your pupils get ahead.
3. Be clear and concise
Make sure your message is clear and you use language your students can understand. Avoid jargon and technical terms unless they’re essential to the subject and you’re sure your students are familiar with them.
Also, keep things short, and try breaking each topic up into bitesize sections. This will help your students maintain their focus.
4. Be an expert on the subject
As much as possible, you want to be able to bend and adapt to allow students’ curiosity to guide their learning. A vital part of this is having comprehensive knowledge of the topic you’re teaching. So, be prepared for any questions.
Your knowledge of a subject should go beyond the curriculum. If you’re teaching an I.T. class about mobile security, for example, you should be able to answer off-the-wall questions like ‘What is manual testing and automation testing?’
5. Be patient, fair, and respectful
It’s critical to show no bias toward or against students, regardless of their background or ability level. Not all students will learn at the same pace. Be patient with those who struggle and offer the support they need. Show students respect by listening to them, valuing their opinions, and treating them with dignity.
This is a big part of building trust within the classroom. It also allows you to lead by example in regard to pupil conduct, setting a tone for their dialogue with you.
6. Be positive
A positive attitude is useful in any workplace—but most especially in a classroom. The importance of positive communication has been proven again and again. When you’re positive and upbeat, students are more likely to be engaged and motivated to learn.
Try to create a positive learning environment. Make sure your classroom is a safe and supportive place where students feel comfortable taking risks and sharing their ideas.
You can do this by communicating in ways that encourage and motivate your students to work, rather than making them feel compelled. Try things like:
- Acknowledging appropriate behavior as much as you discipline inappropriate behavior.
- Building on students’ achievements by focusing on their progress.
- Using non-verbal cues (a smile and thumbs up can go a long way).
- Letting your communication be student-centric. Ensure the student’s perspective takes priority and don’t just teach a subject but also why it’s of value to the classroom.
7. Be flexible
It’s also important to offer flexibility to your students regarding how they engage with their education. Nowadays, this often means facilitating online engagement.
For example, remotely transfer files with RealVNC for a super safe, simple, and easy way to let students hand in assignments from anywhere. Set assignments where pupils can communicate using different mediums and media too.
You might also want to record lessons to allow students to rewatch them for revision. These small steps will go a huge way toward encouraging engagement.
8. Be professional—but still be yourself
You should always act professionally too. This means dressing appropriately, being on time, and being prepared for class.
Wearing suits and more formal office wear is a proven strategy for establishing the tone of a classroom. It nonverbally communicates to your students that they should conduct themselves respectfully. The way you dress also demonstrates the commitment you have to your job as an educator.
That said, students can tell when you’re being genuine, and they will disconnect if you’re not. If suits and office wear aren’t for you, opt for something you feel more comfortable in but that still looks professional.
9. Organize feedback opportunities
Feedback is essential for helping students to improve. Be sure to stay consistent with student feedback and provide critiques that are specific, constructive, and timely. Also, give your students the chance to tell you where you can improve too.
A great way to stay consistent with feedback opportunities is to automate the task. Our advice: integrate Slack and Airtable with the messaging platforms, digital tools, and educational applications you use in the classroom. This allows you to send regular messages to students requesting feedback, set reminders to write theirs, and create records of past feedback to help measure progress.
How to master classroom communication
The truth is, you’ll never fully master classroom communication, no matter how long you’ve been teaching. Every student will pose new challenges and require unique attention to support them properly.
There’s no such thing as perfect communication either; it’s more like a muscle that should be continually exercised and strengthened. So, keep at it, and follow the tips outlined in this article to help you do so.