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Effective Communication: The Joy of Keeping Conversations Alive…

Communicating effectively with others is a fundamental tenet of society. Being an effective conversationalist begins here…

Hello, How Are You?

Daily, how often do we hear these words?

And how often do we have time to stop and listen to more than the response of: “Good, Thank you?”

Or the conversation that may or may not follow? 

The truth is: Our lives are busy, busier than ever before. 

We can say, the joy of walking into a classroom and seeing a group of faces smiling up at you, eager to learn, hanging on your every word, and never interrupting, is simply bliss, for most teachers.

Yeah, we’re kidding right. We know this imaginary Utopia of interaction is far from in sync with what occurs. 

The reality is attentive and effective communication skills such as listening and speaking don’t always come naturally to kids.

So we’re in this together, to teach and learn. Let’s keep the joy of conversation alive. It is so imperative for a fulfilling future.

Why is Communication such a Tussle?

Realistically, when you observe a group of teens, you’ll typically notice them on their phones. 

Often, they will text their friends in the same room, on the same couch! There are many factors, which attribute to the fact they are more comfortable texting and using technology than interacting face-to-face (F2F).

Multiple studies have found children between the ages of 8 and 12 years cumulatively spend at least 8 hours a day on their screens.

Needless to say, this figure increases up to 11 hours for older students. With such screens in play so frequently, it’s no revelation that our kids’ F2F communication skills have altered or are lacking.

Ultimately, it comes back to us as communicative adults to model how to be quality, active listeners and have constructive, beneficial conversations. 

At Tutor Partners we recognize that some students also have speech or other communication conditions, which may impact their ability to speak and listen well. Thus as educators, it is our objective to embrace the opportunity regardless of circumstances to teach and develop effective communication skills with our students, so that they approach the world they are living in with a sense of confidence!

Cultivating Effective Communication Skills

Modeling active speaking and active listening are the major elements of being a fabulous communicator! 

Having Conversations

All the activities in the world won’t matter unless kids develop the necessary skills needed to hold a logical discussion in the first place. Explicitly start with good conversations, which entail showing interest in what’s happening in the world. 

A productive conversation, engaging in dialogue with open-ended questioning, surrounding thoughts, feelings, and opinions will make all the difference to working on these vital skills. 

Active Talking and Listening

Developing the ability to speak clearly and correctly is a central skill to any effective communication. Using proficient pronunciation, not rushing speech, and using good grammar are all aspects of communication that we should attempt to model. 

Try to avoid correcting pronunciation mistakes in front of others as doing so may cause kids to feel self-conscious, ultimately inhibiting their speech in public.

Take turns and try not to interrupt. Self-control and waiting are important and respectful. As is paying attention and responding in turn. Modeling proper listening skills to children is the easiest way to teach it. When conversing, listening attentively, and repeating key phrases back so that kids feel heard, is imperative – followed by the time to respond. Showing an interest in what children have to say matters. The best conversationalists are those who actively listen.

Using Respectful Vocabulary

It can be difficult but there are always respectful alternatives for addressing heated conversations. It’s vital to remember that being COLD (passive), or being HOT (blowing up), often makes matters worse.

The solution to any problem is to teach our kids to remain thoughtful and try to stay as cool as a cucumber. Calling someone, ‘an idiot’ for example, is more inflammatory, and undesired as opposed to respectfully saying: ‘No, I disagree with what you’re saying’. 

While this may appear obvious, we must consider how our words/responses impact one another, children, teens, and adults alike.


It’s essential to develop empathy and a sense of what the other person is thinking and feeling. When we start to see that our viewpoint isn’t the only one, we become better listeners and tend to speak more respectfully to others.


Acknowledging where feelings and thoughts come from, is a skill that takes work, however, understanding ourselves is just as important in communication as it is to understand those around us.

Non-Verbal Cues Count

Observe. Watch. Take note. This is critical.

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”

~ Peter Drucker

There are barriers to communicating effectively, with time, distance, and technology (a plus or minus) keeping the conversation alive remains vital.

Just be, live freely.