How to communicate with parents and students

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Here are a few tips on effective communication

How to be likeable

  1. Be genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  6. Make the other person feel important –  and do it sincerely.

Win people to your way of thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. E.g. If a student answers a question incorrectly, tell them politely ‘no, not quite – but good effort’.
  3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. E.g. If you accidentally tell a student the wrong answer, apologise to them and explain the correct answer to them thoroughly.
  4. Begin in a friendly way. Ask students questions such as ‘how was your week?’, ‘Get up to anything interesting?’, ‘Did you win [Sport] on the weekend?’, etc. When teaching them new concepts, you should frequently ask them questions such as ‘Do you     understand?’/’Is that ok?’/’Do you have any questions with that?’
  5. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately. You want to in-still confidence in your students.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking. YOU DON’T WANT TO BE TALKING THE WHOLE LESSON, because they     won’t remember most of what you have to say! Being a great tutor is about filling knowledge gaps, not about teaching them everything under the sun!
  7. Let the other person feel that the idea/answer is his or hers. E.g. If you ask a student a maths question and you then look at their working out and realise they have made an error in Line 2 of 4, rather than saying ‘that’s wrong, here’s the answer’, you should point to Line 2 and say something like: ‘Is there anything wrong with this?’ They will be much more likely to remember the answer if they come up with it themselves, as opposed to you simply telling them.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires, but steer your students in a positive direction.
  10. Throw down a challenge. Make your students confident enough to attempt difficult questions. Growth lies in tackling areas of uncertainty and overcoming them.

Be a Leader:How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  2. Talk about your own mistakes before criticising the other person.
  3. Give honest and sincere praise when your student improves
  4. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  5. Make the other person happy about doing the thing you suggest.

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