Communicating effectively with your child’s educators

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Regular effective communication requires adaptability and flexibility. Here are some tips for effective communication with education staff:

  • active listening: be attentive, listen carefully, make eye contact, be aware of body language, facial expressions, gestures and tone of voice to get an idea of how they are feeling and avoid misunderstandings
  • ask questions and summarise what the speaker has said to check that you have accurately understood the information
  • use non-blaming and ‘I’ statements to help clarify your point of view. For example, ‘I feel worried when I see that Jenny is starting to get angry’
  • describe clearly and honestly what you would like to talk about. Try to use specific examples if you can to help teachers understand your child’s context
  • be aware of how differences in upbringing, family values, culture, strengths, interests and experiences can mean that people have different points of view
  • be flexible in communicating through different channels, for example, face-to-face, email, telephone
  • consider whether the communication needs further follow-up and try to arrange a time to do so.

Source: KidsMatter enewsletter August 2017 edition.

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