Teaching Tuesday: Secrets of Being an Effective Communicator

By Dr. Marjaneh Gilpatrick and Tracy Vasquez

teacher at the front of the classroom

Communication is critical in education. After all, without effective communication, how can you build meaningful professional relationships? What are the specific dispositions that educators need to polish in order to be effective communicators inside and outside of the classroom? Below are three essential components and how they can be leveraged to improve your relationships with students, colleagues and administrators.

Integrity

As an educator, you model ethical behavior and conduct your teaching practice with integrity. In this way, you positively influence your colleagues, your students and their families on both an academic and personal level. You maintain confidentiality for student privacy in cooperation with federal mandates and personal ethics, as well demonstrate responsibility in areas of leadership, assessment and organization.

When you interact appropriately with students and their families, as well as with peers, faculty, administrators and external constituents, you exhibit professional traits and skills ranging from punctuality and consistent attendance to proactive attitudes in all settings. Professional conduct is demonstrated by the following behaviors:

  • Exhibiting professionalism (timeliness, attendance, attire and attitudes) in university and school settings
  • Exhibiting initiative and dedication
  • Demonstrating respect for self, colleagues, students and property
  • Committing to teaching all students with the belief all students can learn
  • Interacting appropriately and effectively with students and their families, peers, faculty, administrators and external audiences
  • Communicating appropriately, frequently and effectively
  • Demonstrating responsibility, accountability, integrity and resourcefulness
  • Actively participating in school and professional learning communities
  • Acting in congruence with local, state and national policies and laws that govern education

Honesty

Moreover, as servant leaders, it is essential that teachers exhibit honesty in the classroom to meet academic program goals as well as the individual learning goals of your students. This allows you to develop meaningful professional relationships, integrate various perspectives and remain transparent during the decision-making process for developing and implementing holistic solutions. This can be demonstrated by:

  • Saying what you mean and meaning what you say
  • Always speaking truthfully to your students
  • Being transparent in your decision-making processes
  • Engaging in ensuring that input from all stakeholders is included
  • Using student input to make decisions
  • Always keeping the students in the center of your decision-making process

Dedication

Last but not least, a dedicated educator is constantly seeking that which will ultimately benefit the teaching and learning that occurs in the classroom. Dedication is demonstrated by the following behaviors:

  • Active classroom participation
  • Prompt completion of work
  • Exhibiting a positive attitude
  • Engagement in personal and professional development
  • Participation in educational social networks
  • Punctuality
  • Consistent attendance

When practiced consistently, these three dispositions related to effective communication for educators can influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues and communities. Additionally, they may positively effect student learning, achievement, motivation and development, as well as the educator’s own professional growth.

Want more? Check out all of the articles from Teaching Tuesday and return each week for a new post. To learn more about the College of Education and our degree programs, visit our website and join in our efforts to elevate the education profession.

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