The parent’s evenings recently took place at the school where I work. During each appointment, the teacher had to explain to the parents of each pupil, exactly how their child was progressing in school. Some children had been doing very well, and so the teacher had many positive points to explain to happy parents, but, some children had not managed to achieve the targets set, or had a lower than acceptable rate of attendance.
This required very effective communication as the parents had to know that there were issues that needed addressing, how the issues needed to be addressed and that if there were any relevant underlying problems or concerns that they knew about, the parents could, with confidence, tell the teacher, so that the concerns could be taken into account and helpful advice or referrals to other professional bodies could be arranged if necessary.
Ineffective communication at parent’s evening could lead to a lack of confidence in the school, it would create a situation where the parent’s support could be withdrawn, This could damage the relationship between the child, the teacher and the school.
Here are diagrams that show many of the positive results achieved with effective communication. 1. 2) The key principles of developing positive relationships are : Effective Communication. This is the basis of most, if not all of the principles. Without communication, no relationship can be built.
Showing respect You must always be respectful, courteous and mindful of different cultures, beliefs and values of others. To develop positive relationships with others you should ensure that you know their preferred form of address (Miss, Mr, Dr, Sir, Mrs etc) have taken time to learn their names and to always respect their views.
Being Considerate Always consider people’s personal circumstances. There may be an underlying problem that is causing reactions that are out of character. Remembering issues which are personal to them
It can be very beneficial when developing a positive relationship to remember significant aspects that may have been previously mentioned by the child or adult you are working with. Such as: “How did your Dad’s birthday go? ” or “I remember you were worried about an event. How did it go? ” Doing this will help to demonstrate that you care about what is happening in their lives and will encourage further positive communication. Show respect and listening to others also demonstrates a caring disposition thus showing that you are someone a person can confide in. Be clear and concise when giving instructions.
By doing this a person can understand more readily what is expected of them and will gain confidence in their own actions and abilities as a result. 1. 3) Relationships and the way people communicate are affected by different social, professional and cultural contexts. Professionally, you are required to use a more formal approach, using a style of communication approved by the Centre in which you are working, be it a formal telephone call, professional meetings, emails, parent meeting. It’s important to always be mindful of the diverse cultural etiquette that exists.
Different cultures may be offended by gestures that are normal to One’s own culture or they may misinterpret certain forms of non spoken communication. For example, it is commonplace for a Greek person to gesture with a single nod of the head when they actually mean “No I don’t agree”. 2. 1) There are various skills required to communicate effectively with children and young people. Children learn through the behaviour and responses of others so it is extremely important to encourage communication by demonstrating to them that their contribution is valued so that they feel more confident and that they are also able to initiate communication.
For instance, when talking with young children eye contact and positive body language is very important, so you must get down to their level , speak clearly and concisely, always giving opportunity for the child to speak ,showing interest and enthusiasm for their responses/input. Always encourage them to ask questions and express their ideas. Patience is important as some children are less confident than others and can take longer to express themselves. Feedback should always be positive, so when incorrect language is used by the child, you can check your understanding by repeating what was said demonstrating the correct language.
I done that writing yesterday’ would be checked with: ‘You did the writing at home last night? That’s great! I look forward to reading it ’ Modelling language in this way not only shows the child that they have been heard, but demonstrates correct language usage in a positive way. 2. 2) When communicating with children, there are adaptations that need to be made depending on the age of the child. Below is a table that highlights some of the differences between the way in which effective communication is achieved when addressing a 5yr old child and a 16yrold person.
Communicating with a 5yr old child Communicating with a 16yr old Simple vocabulary providing concise basic instructions. Use of more complex language , can negotiate and challenge and debate subjects Friendly tone of voice using key words whilst being down at their level. A need to advise rather than demand without patronising Use of rewards and sanctions More severe sanctions (i. e. detentions) Use age appropriate expectations Be respectful, courteous and mindful of equality and diversity. Communication can be aided by visual tools.
Communication may be aided by newsletters or handouts Trust and safeguarding must be promoted Must be consistent and fair The context of the communication that is occurring also requires consideration as different situations need different approaches. Whilst working on an activity with a child, the child should be kept engaged, so encouraging relevant questions and responses would be beneficial when assessing the child’s understanding of their objectives and that learning is taking place.
If in a social situation, (for instance in the playground) it is an opportunity to develop positive relationships. Appropriate boundaries should still be in place to maintain the carer child relationship, but with good humour and positive reinforcement, the children will feel that you are approachable and will feel able to trust and feel safe with you. If in a disciplinary situation, the child should be dealt with in a firm but fair manner. Any sanctions imposed should be appropriate to the ‘offence’ and should be consistent with the school policies.
This will demonstrate to the child that inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated and demonstrate to their peers that there are set consequences for behaviour and that the sanctions are not personal to the child. 2. 2)c. There are children with communication differences such as speech impediments, ADHD, ASD, Deafness or maybe English is not their Mother tongue. ADHD (or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder) affects many children, symptoms of this disorder include an inability to concentrate for long periods of time, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. There are three subtypes of the condition
ADHD Mainly inattentive ADHD Mainly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD Combined Childhood ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in boys. This could be because disruptive behaviour is more common in boys than girls and diagnosis will be partly based on that. For effective communication with a child with ADHD there are certain steps that should be taken. Firstly, Say less. The less you say, the more the ADHD child hears. If you give them a long lecture they are most likely to forget every single word, if you can condense what you need to say into a few words it’s more likely they will listen and remember.
Get the child’s attention before you speak. Say their name and then wait for them to look at you and acknowledge what you are saying. Make sure they look at you in the eyes; if they aren’t looking they usually aren’t listening. Remove distractions before you try to speak. Don’t try to compete with the TV or video games or yell instructions across a busy room. Wait until they are done, turn it off, or have them come to you before you start speaking. Give instructions 1 at a time, ADHD kids can’t hold onto a number of instructions and follow them all. Usually if you give too many, none will be completed.
If you don’t think they were listening or heard what you said, ask them to repeat it back to you. 2. 3) In many ways there are similarities between communicating with children or adults. Treating them with courtesy and respect, responding to what is being said with interest, maintaining eye contact (to mention a few), but, there are differences. When communicating with children you must be clear and concise when explaining expectations. You would have to tell the child how and when they need to do things. When communicating with adults, you must adjust your language accordingly to suit whom you are speaking with.
You are able to use longer more complex sentences, giving more than one instruction at any one time. Ultimately, it is experience that discerns how communication should proceed. A child would be learning things for the first time whereas an adult will be an experienced communicator and so will have a natural understanding of how to behave with others. It isn’t always obvious that an adult may have communication differences, in these cases you should approach with sensitivity and care. It maybe, that English maybe a second language for the adult you are communicating with.
You would need to speak slowly and clearly, perhaps get their child to help translate if there isn’t a translator available. For someone with a hearing impairment, you must be sure to face the adult and speak slowly and clearly so they are able to lip read and see gestures. Perhaps have a printed handout to give to the person so that they may be able to reinforce their understanding of the conversation that occurred. For some communication differences you may need to seek advice from other colleagues that may have experience, or from an outside source.
Whilst working at the school there have been disagreements between children. An example of one such situation with which I had to handle was as follows: During wet lunchtimes the children are required to remain in the classroom. They have access to various activities and games designed to keep them amused during these times. One of these wet lunchtimes there were two year 3 children that were playing snakes and ladders, two more children asked to join in so they were then included. After a few turns it became apparent that whose turn it was, had become an issue.
An argument ensued between two of the players which was loud and was disrupting the whole classroom as it escalated. My reaction was to use an authoritative voice to call the name of one of the children involved and demand that he wait outside the classroom door for me. (the other was told that I would speak to him after I had spoken to the one outside) I asked the child to sit down, explained that I would be speaking to the other child after he and I had had a talk and asked him to tell me from the beginning about what had just happened inside the classroom.
After he explained things from his own perspective, I told him that it wasn’t uncommon for people to make mistakes. I asked him to tell me if he could think of any better ways to deal with the problem, (to which he told me he should have talked more calmly with the other boy) I pointed out that I knew that he was smarter than his previous behaviour suggested and went on to ask if he felt that he was able to go back to the classroom without a fuss and find a better way to resolve the matter. He said that he could and that he was very sorry.
When the second child came outside of the classroom, I was careful to speak to him in the same way as the first child, giving him plenty of opportunity to explain his perspective of the incident. I suggested to the child that, while I could see why he may have been annoyed, there may have been better ways to handle it. He appeared to be in agreement and when questioned subtly, he seemed to understand why it was I had brought them both out and how things could have been dealt with differently.
When he went back into the classroom, I observed the children as they spoke together and returned without issue to the game. I believe that my approach to this particular situation was successful because I did not discount the importance of how either of the children were feeling at the time of the disagreement. I tried to show empathy to each of the children and suggested that both of the boys were smart enough to work out a better way to resolve the problem. This gave a sense of responsibility to both of them. How a disagreement is dealt with depends on who is involved and what it is about.
Whether or not it is between children, young people or adults, you should appear impartial and try to (where possible) offer suggestions of how it can be resolved or, where they can go to find a resolution. In extreme situations of disagreement, support should be sought in the form of a superior such as the Head Teacher. 3. 1) Data Protection Act 1998 The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament which defines UK law on the processing of data on identifiable living people. It is the main piece of legislation that governs the protection of personal data in the UK.
Although the Act itself does not mention privacy, it was enacted to bring UK law into line with the European Directive of 1995 which required Member States to protect people’s fundamental rights and freedoms and in particular their right to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data. In practice it provides a way for individuals to control information about themselves. Most of the Act does not apply to domestic use, for example keeping a personal address book. Anyone holding personal data for other purposes is legally obliged to comply with this Act, subject to some exemptions.
The Act defines eight data protection principles. The school in which I am working obviously has to adhere to the DPA, It’s own policies are as follows: 3. 2) It’s important to reassure children, young people, and adults of the confidentiality of shared information and the limits of this, as it will promote confidence and trust between teacher and the individual concerned. This in turn will help to open a communication pathway for information of a more sensitive nature to be divulged by the individual concerned when they feel that there is something that they need help or support with.
If there is information that raises child protection issues, this must be shared with your Designated Person in charge of safeguarding or with the Head Teacher in the strictest confidence. The parents ideally would be made aware of this and give their consent, but if there is evidence of abuse, it may be necessary to share the information without consent. Children, young people and adults with whom you have a responsibility to communicate with, should have the confidence to know that a member of staff from school: Will never gossip about parents or children.
Will never discuss one parent with another. Will never make judgements about children or their parents. Parents would need to understand and trust that information will be kept securely, that it would never be taken from the site and that there would never be an opportunity for others to gain access to it. In the unlikely event of a breach of confidentiality, it should be reported to the appropriate member of staff. 3. 3) There are situations where confidentiality protocols must be breached these are: In some circumstances you should not inform the family about the referral.
For example where evidence of abuse is likely to be removed or where a child will be placed at increased risk when parents have this knowledge. Children’s Social Care will accept a referral about a child regardless of whether consent has been given. Children’s Social Care will firstly assess the child to see if the child is in need (Section 17, Children Act 2004) of a service and or is in need of protection (Section 47, Children Act 2004). Information must be collected from agencies who know the child for these decisions to be made and consent is not required for this activity.
These are statutory requirements under the Children Act and thus covered by the Data Protection Act 1998, Schedules 2 and 3. Consent is needed for a service to be offered. So where a child is clearly a “child in need” of a service then the first action for Children’s Social Care must be to obtain consent, unless of course it has been obtained earlier in the process. When a child is assessed as in need of protection then consent to share information between agencies remains desirable but is not essential. The safety of the child is paramount.
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