Listening is just as important as speaking. Active listening is where teachers paraphrase the key points from a conversation in order to show the speaker that they understood. It is a simple strategy used when in conversation with students who are upset. Active listening can reduce tension quickly and easily. Often students just want to be heard and once they have vented their frustration, they are as good as new. Active listening is the technique used to achieve this outcome. Here is how to do it:
Hint: Active listening is especially important when students are disclosing abuse or neglect (known as a ‘disclosure’). If you find yourself in this situation, do not ask ‘probing questions’ or ‘leading questions’ because doing so may impinge on future legal processes (avoid any possibility that you could be accused of ‘coaching’ them in what to say). If the matter is investigated, case officers need students to be able to express their experiences and feelings in their own words – not yours.
Adam Green is an advisor to government, a registered teacher, an instructional designer and a #1 best selling author. He is completing a Doctor of Education and was previously head of department for one of the country’s largest SAER (students at educational risk) schools. Adam is managing director of ITAC, an accredited training provider for thousands of teacher aides every year.
Source: Behaviour Management Skills and Strategies for the Modern Classroom: 100+ research-based strategies for both novice and experienced practitioners.
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