Communication Tools

Working With Defiant Kids: Communication Tools for Teachers

Why do classroom conflicts between teachers and students seem to occur so frequently?

Jim's Hints

How to Use Active Listening to Interrupt an Upset Student Without Confrontation. Here is a useful tip for using active listening. When a student is quite upset and talking very quickly, you can safely interrupt him or her, take control of the conversation, and still seem supportive by using an active listening phrase (Thompson, 1993).

For example, you might interrupt a student by saying, "Whoa, just a minute! You've covered a lot of ground. Let me just try to sum up what you said so that I know that I am understanding you!."

Effective Teacher Commands

As classroom managers, teachers regularly use commands to direct students to start and stop activities.

Jim's Hints

Monitor Your Use of Commands. By tracking your use of teacher commands in the classroom, you can gain a better understanding of how frequently you give then and how effective those commands are. Check out the Teacher Command Monitoring Chart (see attachment at the bottom of this page) as an example of one instructor self-rating form.

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