Tuesday, November 14, 2017

11 Things You Might Unintentionally Be Communicating to Your Students

Some things we communicate intentionally. And sometimes when we fail to communicate intentionally, we send a message that we didn't mean to send.

Here are 11 things you might unintentionally be communicating to your students.

1. When you don't wait for all students to get quiet and give you their attention before you start talking, you might be communicating that it's not really important that they listen to you.

2. If you complain about the school, other teachers, or the way things are, your students will probably think it's okay to be negative about the school, other teachers, and probably your classroom too.

3. When you pass a student in the hall or they enter your room and you don't say hello or call them by name, they may think you don't really care about them.

4. If you give a grade for every assignment or activity and talk about how "this or that is going to be on the test," your students may think your class is more about grades than learning.

5. If the questions you ask have just one correct answer, there's a good chance your students will think your class is all about right answers, not about being better thinkers.

6. If you only recognize the 'A' students or celebrate the kids who have high test scores, that may communicate that only the 'smart' kids matter and that growth is not valued.

7. If you make mistakes in front of your students and then act defensive or embarrassed, you might be sending the message that only perfection is accepted and risk taking is not appreciated.

8. When you break a school policy or act like the rules are no big deal, you might send the message you don't really value a culture of respect and shared responsibility.

9. If you aren't intentional about making your classroom innovative and future driven, you may be sending the message to students that what their parents learned in school will be good enough for them too.

10. When you come in dragging, lack energy, or just don't give your best, you might be communicating to students that it's okay to try hard only when you feel like it.

11. If you don't give students choices in their learning or opportunities to pursue their passions, they may view learning as more about compliance than actually being about...well...learning.

We have to be very careful about what we are communicating. Kids are always watching. They want to see alignment between our words and actions. They are looking to see what we really think, what we really believe, and how much we really care about them.

What is being communicated in your school unintentionally? I think that's a good question to consider. I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or share on Twitter or Facebook.

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