1.1 In order to develop a positive, professional relationship with a child, it is very important to communicate effectively in your dealings. This means learning how to approach and respond to children. Positive relationships go hand in hand with successful communication of information. Adults within a school who deliver information strongly and effectively are more likely to be beneficial to pupils.
Good communication skills involve watching and censoring what we say in times of stress or excitement so our behaviour is not copied and the school expectations are upheld. If we set boundaries and ask a child to behave in a certain way, then we ourselves cross those boundaries, then it is harder for that child to understand what is acceptable and what is not. Good and effective communication must be worked on or misunderstandings may happen, leading to bad feeling and sometimes un-repairable working relationships.
1.2 There are several principles of relationship building with children, firstly effective communication; this is a key area in developing initial relationships. Secondly showing respect to a child and listening to their point of view will in turn earn respect and you should always take time to remember their names. Another principle is being considerate and taking into consideration that a child maybe under stress which may have affected their behaviour in the short term. Maintaining a sense of humour is another key principle as laughter is a great way to relax and relieve stress. It is important to always take time to listen as a child may need to confide or ask advice.
Showing interest develops relationships. Principle number six is to always remember personal issues and inquire from time to time and show concern, this makes a child feel cared for and will relax more in your presence. Finally being clear on key points and when speaking to a child and relaying information is important, ask the child to repeat what you just said so that it is clear that the child understood at the end of your discussion. Relationships in school are built on a daily basis, by following these key principles you can build a good rapport with children.
1.3 To communicate with pupils from a different cultural background it is important to adapt your behaviour to suit the situation; for example a child from a different country may require you to speak slowly and concisely enabling that child to understand easily and take an active part in the conversation. In some cultures it is considered to be impolite to look somebody in the eye whilst talking to them therefore it would be necessary to adapt how we behave by adhering to their practices.
Courtney from Study Moose
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