Barriers to Communication in Schools

school room image by Alfonso d'Agostino from

Effective communication between teachers and students is one of the most important factors in school, as without it, the educators' efforts go in vain. Hence, the first thing teachers must establish is an uninterrupted environment for their interaction with children. There are quite a few variables that teachers must take into consideration during this process.

Physical Distractions

Children will always be distracted by phenomena such as a screeching chair, a peculiar smell, a noise from outside the classroom, or even weird clothes worn by the teacher. Even the tiniest thing can be a cause of disturbance or laughter, taking the attention away from the teacher and blocking the effective communication between her and her students. Thus, teachers should make sure all windows and doors are firmly closed, speak louder if outside noises persist and keep constant eye contact with students, to be able to spot feelings of unease at once.

Distracting Emotions

When children face problems at home, the school playground, or most importantly, if they have a problem with a teacher because they believe he has been unfair with them, then they will be filled with anxiety, anger or even fear and their minds will certainly not be in the classroom. Teachers should try to understand when something is wrong even when on the surface there doesn't seem to be a problem, but certain children are still not participating in classroom activities. Talking with the kids directly, and with their parents as well, is a way to spot the problem and attempt to solve it.

Different Cultures and Backgrounds

In a classroom with children of different cultures and backgrounds, where their experience at home varies greatly between them, teachers will find it challenging at first to find a common approach for everyone. Certain kids will have learnt not to speak, even when they have a question, when an older person is in the room, and others will be hyperactive as their playtime may be limited at home; the list goes on and on. Firstly, teachers should clarify certain rules in the classroom, to avoid it becoming a playground, but they should also give liberties to children, encouraging them to freely express their concerns which relate to the lesson.

Lack of interest

When children don't find any reason to follow a teacher who is lecturing on a seemingly boring issue, then they will stop paying attention, even if they don't show it outwardly by disrupting the lesson. On the contrary, when they are genuinely interested in the subject, they will have questions, make comments, and participate in one way or another in the lesson. This is why teachers always need to be vigilant, trying to find ways to make the lesson more compelling to students, and to encourage kids to provide them with feedback on their teaching methods.

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