The effectiveness of communication is not defined by the communication, but by the response”
Communication is a simple process where a message is conveyed from a person to the other. In classrooms, things happen at an uneven pace or in an unpredictable manner. The teacher just does not talk /interact with one student while others listen or wait patiently. While such moments do occur, many a times it is more like a medley of overlapping interactions, interferences, disturbances and many decisions and several activities happen at a time.
One student completes the work given by you while the other has just started. Another one pretends that he/she is trying to understand the question but actually is lost somewhere. You begin to bring that child back to the track by speaking to him/her. A new person enters the class with the notice and you start reading it.
Some doubts suddenly come from the fourth about the given task. While you answer this, the fifth one starts clearing doubts with the neighbour and two, three more are involved in the doubt-clearing session. Suddenly from the last row one big doubt…What time is the break? Which period is PE?
Like these, endless activities could be listed and as a single person standing in the midst, you have to respond to all in an acceptable mode.
An individual must be clear about what he/she actually wishes to convey. Then the information or the thought should be sensibly put into correct and meaningful words /sentences.
As teachers, we are condemned to talk at school accompanied by sufficient amounts of nonverbal communication--gestures, facial expressions, looks etc. Often the talk involves many people at once, or even an entire class, and individuals have to take turns to speak to one person or a group or to the whole class and also listening to others taking their turn, using their time or sometimes ignoring the others if the conversation does not concern them.
In the class it is sometimes important to probe more actively how many students actually understand during lessons. In general, any communication strategy will help students to be more eloquent if it provides space for more views and invites expansion of their ideas.
Other things being constant, teaching is all about communication. “I want tea” is communication. “I want half a cup of hot tea with less sugar” is effective communication. Effective communication includes transforming the boring into the interesting and having good presentation skills. The target audience, which means to whom you want to communicate, is also equally important.
Classrooms are different from many other group situations and have a unique position. The participants of the conversation in the classroom are not ordinary chatters, but belong to a purposeful community formed knowingly or unknowingly to achieve predetermined goals.
Effective communication skills are important for a teacher in transmitting content, classroom management and interaction with students. Communication skills involve listening as well as speaking.
Remember the greatest teacher the world has ever produced communicated very effectively using just two words- ‘Follow me.’
(The writer Sanjeev SL is the principal of a school in Qatar)....