10 ways of effective communication

Communicating the Montessori way 

                   Montessori Method of education needs to be communicated to the child through approach, body-language and proceedings according to the child’s reaction. This responsive communication helps the children to develop faith in their teachers and so they feel free to learn and explore thus developing themselves. Let us brief here below the ten effective ways of communication :

1)   Prepare the environment carefully, which conveys to the child that he is free to move about and explore or learn at his own will. It also shows that this environment contains various materials that interest him, which in turn challenge and inspire him for self development. We should use safe apparatus and child sized furniture which is comfortable for the child. For sensory apparatus, we need to offer real life objects instead of plastic ones, as the fake ones do not offer the scope of sensory stimulation when compared to the real objects.

2)   Use Pro-active guidance strategies, like praising the child when they behave duly. A child should be communicated that adults notice their alternate behaviour patterns. When he behaves well, we need to be pleased by just smiling or highlight quietly by saying “David, I hear how quietly you closed the door”. Contrary to this, if a child misbehaves, we must never retort immediately or try to punish him. Instead we need to accept his feelings and try to escort him towards appropriate behaviour. We should not support competition but communicate to the child that co-operative behaviour is highly saluted.

3)   Intervene gently, quietly and only when necessary. When a child is at work, a teacher should interfere as little as possible. She needs to watch the situation and cautiously plan how to intervene. After solving the dilemma she needs to leave the child instantaneously. During social contacts, she needs to wait for the children to patch up their own disparity by themselves. She has to get involved at once, only when the child is in danger.

4) Give a directed choice, which enables the child to decide without any half-hearted sacrifices. Instead of asking a child “What do you want ?” or asking him “Do you want to work on the puzzle ?”, we can give him a direct choice like “Suresh, do you wish to work on this puzzle or go out and do some gardening ?”. This way of communication reveals our confidence in the child’s decisive powers.

5)   Use touch often. Research conducted worldwide confirmed that touch is an effective form of communication. It gives caring and comfort for the child. It is helpful in the development of brain as well because touch enhances language activity. Anyway, all infants do not enjoy while touched. A teacher has to monitor each child’s preference and approach by gentle touching.

6)   Slow down, as we must communicate that the school is entirely focused on the requirements of the child. A trained teacher can think and act expertly but a child is in the juncture of just learning this proficiency. So, a teacher needs to set her pace equal to a child’s pace, as a child takes lot of time to examine each apparatus and then starts to work freely.

7)   Speak and listen with respectas a teacher needs to study vigilantly and decide, what to say, how to say and whether to say it or not. We need to respect the child’s work and stay back quietly unless the child asks for assistance. It is essential to ask for his permission to take or move something that he is using. Similarly, we need to approach the child from the front and not from behind. We need to tell him what we are planning to do and should not force him to participate in activities but invite him to do so.

8)    Use non-verbal signals for quiet and stopping. During unexpected periods of emergency, we need to converse swiftly to the children for which we have to develop certain non-verbal signals. These should not be mixed up with other signals used in daily agenda or regular physical actions. Using non-verbal signals obtains the immediate attention of the children and so, should not be frequently used.

9)   Make socializing an everyday experienceA Montessori teacher’s main responsibility is to enable each child to mingle with people, cooperate and carry out social aptitude regularly. She has to present group activities, address each child by name, spend time with each child by talking, introduce story time and also present real life opportunities to practice social etiquette.

10)    Support competence and independence, by acknowledging the child’s expertise which makes the child feel that they are imperative members of the school community.

Observation and Communication

                   Observation is termed scientific as it is done systematically by careful analysis and accurate measurement of events. Observations on child behaviour are done technically which helps in predicting specific behaviour in children and their causes. Observation is also termed as an art to observe and scrutinize the practical problems children without distracting them.


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