13 Rules for Effective Communication in the Classroom #6 - Criticism

http://createdforlearning.blogspot.com/2014/08/13-rules-for-effective-communication-in_12.html

Thanks for joining us on this journey. We hope you'll tell us your stories and thoughts about each rule because we teachers are all in this together!

http://createdforlearning.blogspot.com/2014/08/13-rules-for-effective-communication-in_12.htmlImagine going to the dentist to get one of those deadly root canals everyone says are so bad. You sit down, and immediately the dentist goes straight for the drill and buzzes it down the center of your tooth.
We can only hope a nightmare like this never happens. Before he ever touches that painful tooth to do any work, he’d better give us some anesthesia to numb our whole face. That way, when he goes in for the more painful work, we don’t feel it nearly as much.
As unthinkable as a root canal without anesthesia sounds, our natural tendency is to do the unthinkable with our words. We see something we want fixed in our students, and we jump straight in with the drill. Pain and all!
What would our interactions with our students look like if — instead of diving right to our criticisms, frustrations, and irritations — we affirmed them first?

Dictionary.com = affirm…to express agreement with or commitment to, uphold, support

For example, when your student has just asked their twelfth question in 41 minutes, your tendency might be to say something like, “You ask more questions than any student I’ve ever had. Did you know that?” Instead, we might take the time to affirm him first. “I love how enthusiastic you are about questioning the world around you. It really seems like it brings you a lot of fun. Right now, we really need to keep moving, so would you please write down all your questions and I’ll answer them later?” 
My gut instinct is to think this process will take longer, but over the long journey of a classroom year, all those tug-of-wars over power eat up more time than a few sentences of affirmation. And think of our emotional state afterward. After the power struggle, we’re feeling frustration and resentment toward our student whom we really do want to treat respectfully (right?). After giving affirmation, we begin to feel patience growing inside us, as hard as this step is at times. Over the year, the impact of so many affirmations will change our students’ hearts and ours.



 

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These rules are adapted with permission from Roger and Becky Tirabassi's premarital workbook for seriously dating and engaged couples - The Seriously Dating or Engaged Workbook. Roger and Becky have also co-authored a book for married couples called Little Changes Big Results for Crazy, Busy Couples. The principles in these books have changed so many areas of our life. We highly recommend them.

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