Effective Peer Communication By Melanique Floyd Willa Banks Carmona Pam Yates
Communication No one would talk much in society if they knew how often they misunderstood others. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Many of the problems that occur in an organization are the direct result of people failing to communicate. Communication is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another. Effective communication occurs only if the receiver understands the exact information or idea that the sender intended to transmit.
The Communication Process 1. Thought- First, information exists in the mind of the sender. This can be a concept, idea, information or feelings. 2. Encoding – Next a message is sent to a receiver in words or other symbols. 3. Decoding – Lastly, the receiver translates the words or symbols into a concept or information that he or she can understand.
Barriers to Communication Cultural background and bias Noise Ourselves Perception Message Environmental Smothering Stress
Effective E-mail Your e-mails should be clear and concise. Sentences should be kept short and to the point. Writing Skills Communicating through words can be more concrete than verbal communications, with less room for error and even less room for mistakes.
Seven Ways to Improve Nonverbal Communication Eye Contact Facial Expression Gestures Posture and Body Orientation Proximity Voice Modulation (Paralinguistics) Humor
Eye Contact Eye contact with audiences increases the speaker’s credibility. Teachers who make eye contact open the flow of communication and convey interest. Interpersonal communication helps regulate the flow of communication.
Facial Expression Smiling is a powerful cue that transmits: Happiness Friendliness Warmth Liking Affiliation
Paralinguistics: Tone Pitch Rhythm Timbre Loudness Inflection Students report that they learn less and lose interest more quickly when listening to teachers who have not learned to modulate their voices.
Gestures If you fail to gesture while speaking, you may be perceived as boring, stiff, and unanimated. A lively and animated teaching style captures students’ attention, makes the material more interesting, facilitates learning, and provides a bit of entertainment. Head nods, a form of gesturing, communicate positive reinforcement to students and indicate that you are listening.
Posture and Body Orientation You communicate numerous messages by the way you walk, talk, stand, and sit. Standing erect, but not rigid, and leaning slightly forward communicates to students that you are approachable, receptive, and friendly. Speaking with your back turned or looking at the floor or ceiling should be avoided; it communicates disinterest to your class.
Proximity Rocking Leg swinging Tapping Gaze aversion You should move around the classroom to increase interaction with your students. Increasing proximity enables you to make better eye contact and increases the opportunities for students to speak.
Humor Humor is often overlooked as a teaching tool. Laughter releases stress and tension for both the student and teacher. It fosters a friendly classroom environment that facilitates learning.
Research shows that an effective peer mediation program can reduce fights, discipline referrals, suspensions, and can increase positive school climate, teachers’ time teaching, and students’ time learning. Leigh Jones-Bamman Program Manager for the Governor’s Prevention Partnership
Benefits of Peer Mediation Programs provides a safe structure for people to solve their problems and negotiate improves communication among students, administrators, teachers, and staff members makes people more comfortable talking to someone their own age who understands their concerns and their perspective peers are less threatening to talk to than authority figures and this promotes honesty and willingness to collaborate people learn that they have to listen to others’ point of view helps people learn to live in a multicultural world
Creating and Sustaining Collaborative Relationships Among Teachers Collaboration provides teachers with a vehicle for sharing a common knowledge base and vision. Yet few teachers are using collaboration on a regular basis as part of their work.
Collaboration allows teachers to: Develop a sense of community Improve the quality of their teaching by working together on unit plans, lessons and assessments Recognize and appreciate diverse talents Teachers who work autonomously have found it difficult to modify their lessons and instructions to reach the varied and changing needs of their students. Think of some ways you can collaborate with the teachers on your team.
Researchers have indicated that two components are necessary when building a collaborative relationship: It needs to take place with an equal relationship among all parties. All parties must make a commitment to engage in dialogue and mutual inquiry. Each participant must have opportunities to experience each other’s knowledge and expertise (Ferrara, 2000).
Conclusion Building new relationships, whatever the circumstances, takes time; rebuilding relationships in which trust has been damaged can take far longer (Young, 1998). If we hope to make meaningful, lasting change within school communities, establishing trust as a priority and taking the time to develop it looks to be well worth the investment. “Without trust, a school cannot improve and grow into the rich, nurturing microsociety needed by adults and children alike.”(Blase and Blase 2001)