Teachers are primarily educated communicators. The role of a teacher strongly relies on the ability to communicate effectively with students. However, several teachers find it difficult to establish effective communication with their students, especially in online teaching. There is a gap in what the teacher wishes to convey and what the student perceives. While subject matter expertise is of prime importance, good communication skills are also equally essential for a teacher.
Some of the most common communication barriers that arise while handling students are:
The diversity of students requires teachers to handle cultural backgrounds effectively especially in a country like India. For example, teachers from South India might take time to adapt to a student batch with North Indian students and vice versa.
It is always essential to be aware of the languages which the students are comfortable in. Communication relies heavily on language compatibility. The same applies to accents and dialects as well. Sometimes, subject matter experts fail to reach students with clarity due to incomprehensible accents.
In cases where teachers are not loud enough or lack clarity of speech, it becomes difficult for students to grasp concepts. It is therefore important for teachers to modulate their speech well for better clarity.
Some of the easy ways of bridging these communication gaps with students are mentioned below:
One of the easiest ways to connect with students is to speak to them in person on a one-on-one basis. This way students know that they are being heard and valued. Most of the time teachers speak about the students with their colleagues and parents. But if the interaction is personalised with the student, it aids in building a healthy, reliable bond. This ensures clear communication with maximum clarity.
Teachers must consistently encourage students to share their experiences in the classroom. This can be done using simple assignment tasks that help students voice their opinions in a healthy manner. Teachers thereby can listen in with focussed attention to have barrier-free communication. This will also help teachers assess the effectiveness of their teaching skills.
Another way of building a better connection with students is to give them the opportunity to be the centre of attention. Encourage classroom discussions with students as the moderators and hosts. This will help teachers gauge students’ individual potentials and motivate students to participate in classroom activities. Not just that, this will also help students feel confident in social interactions outside the classroom.
Encouraging Extracurricular Activities
Sports, cultural activities and talent performances must be conducted in order to give students a platform to shine. Some teachers tend to skip their students’ extracurricular performances in school as they feel they are not as important. But teachers must understand that their mere presence in the audience helps boost the confidence of students. This helps build a healthy connection with students which aids in bridging communication gaps.
Parent Teacher Meetings
A common practice that continues to play a role in building better communication is conducting parent-teacher meetings. These meetings help review the students’ progress both academically and personally. However, while interacting with parents of the students, constructive feedback must be given by the teachers. This not only helps point out the shortcomings, but also encourages parents to guide their children in a healthy, non-judgemental manner.
Communication gaps are common while handling a diverse batch of students. However they must be addressed with sincerity by the teachers as these gaps directly impact students’ learning. WIth some easily implementable tips, teachers can definitely build a good rapport with their students. Online teaching platforms like SuperTeacher provide expert insights and teaching aids to help teachers communicate effectively. With the willingness to reach their students, teachers can easily bridge communication gaps in the classroom.