Module 1 Activities
Why is it important that you are able to communicate effectively with people in your job role? Good communication is very important when working with children, young people, their families and carers. By being able to communicate effectively I am making sure that I am understood and understanding too. People, especially children respond well to positive communication, and by being able to communicate effectively with children I will be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses and be able to support them if it be needed.
Being able to communicate effectively with colleagues means I will be able to discuss lessons, pupils progress and any problems that may arise, and if I am able to communicate effectively with parents and carers then I will be able to discuss pupil progress etc in a professional manner that would not be offending. Another reason why being able to communicate effectively is important is that it helps build a good rapport and builds trust between the workforce, children, young people and their carers. Q1.2
Explain your different styles of communication when:
a) noticing that a Foundation age child is becoming distressed during a group activity in the Numeracy session I will come down to the level of the child and ask if they understood the session or if they found it difficult. I would be understanding. I will give the child the opportunity to express their thoughts on the lesson in the hope that I will then be able to asses why the child was becoming distressed and be able to resolve the issue so that the child felt confident enough to carry on. “Children learn best when they are enabled to express themselves …” (http://www.nicurriculum.org.uk/docs/foundation_stage/UF_web.pdf)
b) noticing that a Year 7 child is becoming distressed during a group activity in the Maths lesson I will ask the child to move away from the group so they didn’t feel humiliated in front of their peers. I will not ‘talk down’ to them; rather I will be respectful and understanding. I will give the child an opportunity to express their thoughts on why they were becoming distressed; maybe they didn’t understand the activity or were uncomfortable with the group they were put with? I will try my best to resolve any issues that the child may have, so the child knows that he was heard and not feel that he was ignored. c) Supporting a child with Asperger’s Syndrome during a role play activity about going on holiday Most children with Asperger’s syndrome like routine and structure ‘People with Asperger’s syndrome often have trouble understanding the “big picture” and tend to see part of a situation rather than the whole.’ (http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/tc/aspergers-syndrome-home-treatment) I will explain the activity to the child in a simple manner and give the child the opportunity to decide on what he wants to say without overpowering him.
I will make sure the child understands what is going on in the activity and throughout the role play, and also make sure that he is not getting distressed. I will make sure he is comfortable when interacting with other children and that he understands what the activity is about. Children with Aspergers syndrome find it difficult to socialise, so I will talk to the child and make him feel comfortable about the role play. I will not demand, instead I will suggest so the child doesn’t feel like he is being pushed in to doing something he is not comfortable with as this will result in him becoming distressed. d) Supporting a child with hearing impairment during a role play activity about going on holiday I will firstly ensure that the activity is taking place in an area which is quiet so the child does not have difficulties in hearing.
I will speak to the child, coming down to his level, and in a clear voice making sure he has understood the activity. I will use visual aids about the activity, pictures about going on holiday etc, making sure the child is comfortable with the role play. I will ensure all other children taking part in the role play speak in a loud clear voice, and that the child is sat in a place where he will be able to communicate with the others effectively. I will ensure the child is not getting distressed throughout the activity by staying close to the child and asking him at intervals ensuring that he is comfortable.
You are concerned about the behaviour of one of the children with whom you are involved. You believe that this is due to learning development problems, and suspect this may be due to underlying medical issues. Explain how you would ensure that effective communication is maintained when discussing these issues with the child’s parent, the assigned teacher and other external professionals. When discussing these issues with the child’s parent I will make sure I am kind and considerate. I will ensure that the parents’ know that they are involved in all decisions affecting their child’s education and learning.
I will be respectful, avoid being judgemental and also remember to be positive, as parents enjoy positive communication. I will include positive aspects of the child’s performance. I will listen to the parents input and there point of view. ‘… Surveyed parents wanted to be treated with respect and as equals when communicating with educators. Parents are not looking for a cold, professional approach from school staff. Rather, teachers who develop a “personal touch” in their communication style achieve enhanced school relationships.’ Communicating with Parents: Strategies for Teachers, Susan Graham-Clay
When discussing these issues with the teacher and other external professionals I will be non judgemental, be respectful towards the child and be sure to communicate in a way that all information is passed on accurately regarding the child’s behaviour and any other issues that there may be.
How can a HLTA help pupils to understand why it is necessary to behave appropriately during lessons?
‘It’s far more effective to encourage good behaviour rather than deal with misbehaviour as it arises’ http://newteachers.tes.co.uk/content/top-10-strategies-encouraging-good-behaviour
A HLTA can help pupils understand why it is necessary to behave appropriately by firstly being aware of the schools policy on behaviour, then making the pupils aware of the policies regarding acceptable behaviour at the school. Pupils can be told how inappropriate behaviour can disrupt the learning process of others and the teaching process. A poster of class rules/expected behaviour can be put up in the classroom so pupils are aware of what kind of behaviour is expected from them in the school. The pupils should be made aware of what is expected of them and a consistent approach should be upheld regarding this.
Speak to a classroom teacher and ask them about the most important things they expect from their pupils in terms of behaviour. Record them below and state whether you agree or disagree with their expectations.
If there are expectations you did not agree with, think about why you did not agree. Record your thoughts here and discuss with the teacher.
Participate in class discussions-Disagree
Some students are not comfortable when having to speak up in class discussions. This should not be expected from all students and should not be thought of as misbehaving if students are not participating with class discussions.
Hand work in on time given-Disagree
It should be expected that some students may not be able to hand their work in on the time given, this can be due to learning difficulties, some students may need extra support and time in completing their work. Some students may be experiencing problems at home etc which has not made it possible for them to complete their work on time
Say how you as a HLTA would deal with each of the following situations (Figures in brackets give the age of the pupil)
Amy (13) calls Jasmine (11) a ‘chav’.
I would first report the incident to the class teacher, and then I would move Amy to a different place so she does not feel humiliated and give her time to calm down and a chance to explain why she said what she did to Jasmine. I will keep an open mind and stay calm and supportive so as to not inflame the situation further. When the teacher is dealing with the situation I will make sure the rest of the class is not disrupted by keeping them on task I will see how jasmine has been affected by this and make sure she is ok.
Susan (8) pulls the hair of the girl sitting next to her
I will be sure to not shout as this will not solve the problem, firstly I will move Susan away to a different place and then inform the teacher. I will give Susan time to calm down before I attempt to examine the problem, I will listen to her and show that I am interested in her feelings. I will explain how this kind of behaviour is not acceptable, I will criticise the behaviour and not Susan, and I will explain how her actions affect others around her
During a whole-class activity, Jack (11) gets up and wanders round the classroom, looking at other pupils work and distracting them. I would ask Jack to return to his place and praise him when he does so. I will speak to Jack away from the rest of the pupils asking him why he was wandering around the class, maybe he wasn’t sure about the class activity, I will remind him of the class rules and explain how his behaviour was disrupting the rest of the class
You hear Tom (13) threaten to ‘knife’ Paul (12) when they get out of school. I will speak to Tom calmly and ask him what was making him angry, I will show him that I am interested and want to help. I will give him time to calm down. I will tell the class teacher so she is aware of the situation and can tell the appropriate people at the school to ensure the safety of the pupils.
You ask Mohammed (5) to stop talking while the teacher is talking and he swears at you I will keep calm and not shout or get angry. I will condemn the behaviour and not Mohammed so he does not feel humiliated. I will explain to the class why using this kind of language is inappropriate and how it hurts people’s feelings etc I will encourage good behaviour and praise Mohammed for doing good so he learns the difference between praise on good behaviour and being reprimanded for unacceptable behaviour.
Carla (13) and Rani (13) have an argument over a pencil. Carla is racially abusive to Rani and grabs Rani’s wrist to force her to give her the pencil. I will tell Carla to move to a different place away from the class, and give her some time to reflect and think. I will inform the class teacher of what has happened and ensure that Rani is ok I will give Carla the chance to speak, reminding her that being racially abusive was wrong and how she thought Rani may be feeling. I will not shout or become angry, I will remain calm and not criticise her behaviour
You come across Chris (14) and Sam (15) smoking at the top of the playing fields I will ask both boys politely to stop smoking and get rid of the cigarettes and to also give me any other cigarettes that they may have. I will keep calm and not become angry. I will ask them if they knew the dangers and ill effects of smoking and how it was dangerous to their health etc I will criticise the act and not the pupils
I will report the incident to the class teacher
You overhear Charlotte (14) and Jenny (14) discussing a sexually explicit scenario involving one of the male teachers. I will tell both the girls to move places and then report to the class teacher what I had heard. I will not become judgemental or angry; I will remain calm and explain why these kinds of discussions were inappropriate in the classroom. As this is a sensitive matter involving another teacher, I will inform the appropriate member of staff to deal with it accordingly, and make sure I clearly tell them what I had heard between the girls