If you still believe cellphones are a distraction best left out of the learning environment, then you may be limiting your students’ development. In this article, we’ll walk you through how using the Remind texting app feature for teachers and parents can help improve your students’ communication skills.
The importance of communication skills for teachers, students, and families
Communicating is an essential skill used in every aspect of our lives. Whether It's placing a restaurant order, answering job interview questions, or apologizing to a friend, the ability to effectively and clearly express yourself is integral to making the interaction a success.
Communication is important to ensure a good learning environment. Teachers know their relationships with students don't end at the end of the school year. Some may even think that the parent-teacher relationship ends after meeting them in a conference twice a year. This undermines the importance of communicating with parents and students.
For a parent, knowing how their child is doing in school can be a source of pride or of shame. If their child is struggling with schoolwork, it’s important they hear about it before the end of the school term, when it may be too late for them to help.However, if they are involved more often with teachers communicating via calls or texts, they can contribute to their student’s learning at home.
For a student, learning good communication skills—which involve reading, writing, listening, and speaking—will not only help with socialization and classroom performance, but will serve them well in all areas of their life.
For a teacher, communication skills are vital. They are responsible for demystifying complex information s and responding to student questions about the material. They also must help their students develop their own communication skills. The following section gives examples of methods for achieving this.
Methods for teaching communication skills
The role of teachers in classroom communication is an essential one. If you’re a teacher constantly in search of improvements to communication techniques for the classroom, here are some methods you can use for effectively improving student communication skills:
- Use material that showcases conversation skills. If you watch films or videos in class, look for moments where characters are conversing and teach students about elements like body language, eye contact, summarizing, paraphrasing, and responding.
- Create a learning environment that fosters critical thinking. Instead of asking, “did you like the movie?”, ask “what did you like most about the movie?” in order to encourage discussion and allow students to come up with their own answers.
- Promote teamwork through group assignments. In smaller groups, some students may be more encouraged to communicate their ideas and connect with their peers.
- Promote active listening. Listening is as integral to communication as speaking. You can lead by example by asking clarifying questions when talking to students and encouraging them to do the same.
- Offer feedback. Giving positive feedback is a good way to build confidence and promote the right behavior. Another method for feedback is recording or videotaping presentations so students can reflect on their performance and learn to receive constructive criticism.
- Use every moment as a teaching opportunity. There is no need to be confined to a lesson plan when thinking of ways to teach students. Teaching communication skills can start with something as simple as reading through a textbook and asking students about any unfamiliar concepts or words and clarifying them.
- Turn Taking. An essential to any effective use of communication is learning to take turns. Use an object, such as a talking stick as a signal for turn-taking. Teach your students that when they have the object, it is their turn to talk or pass while others are expected to listen.” It is a wonderful idea to involve students in other activities that practice the skill of turn-taking, such as board games.
- Make the most of technology—use an SMS message app for schools. Now in the digital age, many tools are available to make teachers’ jobs easier. One such tool is an SMS app such as Remind, which allows for effective communication between administrative teams, teachers and students, and teachers and parents. This also models appropriate, professional use of digital tools.
While all of these methods should be used in tandem to truly create the best space for teaching students communication skills, one is always evolving and it is the one concerning technology.
With the recent need to move towards online learning, some teachers and parents may be struggling with how to look after the students’ learning in the ways they were accustomed to before. This is where you can use an app for SMS messages to help bridge the gap and open up a more direct line of communication.
Using a teacher-student messaging app to improve communication
If you’re unfamiliar with using a teacher messaging app, there’s no need to worry. A texting app for teachers and parents is as easy to use as your regular SMS app for sending a text message. However, unlike a simple SMS texting app, it comes with features designed with students, families, and educators in mind.
With Remind, whether you are an educator, student, or a parent, you can directly connect with everyone involved in the learning process. You can send messages to individuals or groups without publicizing anyone’s personal information. There is also a feature to translate your messages into more than 70 languages, which is ideal for classes that have exchange students that don’t understand the local language.
With the ease of staying connected, parents and teachers can coordinate to make sure that the students are supported both at home and at school. Having consistency between the teachings in class and the environment at home can help reinforce the personal, academic, and social development of the student.
Teachers can text parents about the skills they are teaching in school, and advise them on allowing the child to practice them in a setting outside of the classroom. Aside from parents, it also allows students to reach their teachers more easily, fostering a more comfortable relationship where students feel as though they can communicate freely. To students that may feel too shy to talk in person, this is an extremely helpful space to let them grow their communication skills.
Remind is also highly valuable for sending messages that students and parents can’t miss. Whether it’s a reminder for an exam schedule or an encouraging message, the read receipts will let you know exactly who’s been reached.
With regular communication between the student, teacher, and parent through the SMS app, a collaborative community will naturally form. This collaboration ensures that everyone is on the same page and offers the student an opportunity to improve their communication skills with every interaction.
Essential communication skills
With communication skills being essential to the success of a student, it’s important to make full use of the tools available for teaching (such as an SMS text app) and reinforce them. The Remind texting app for teachers, parents, and internal administration is simple to use—as easy to adopt and use as sending a text message. It creates instant two-way communication and a direct line between the people who matter most to student success. Remind was built for education and designed with students, families, and educators in mind.
Reach out to learn more about connecting to your students and their families today.