Communication and Professional Relationships with Children

  • Hanan Adrime

The educational environment is a location that gives us opportunity to make a deep and a essential link with children and teenagers. This also permits us to communicate and build positive relationships with them. Support staff should be aware that there are specific principles, skills, and regulations that are compulsory to provide a productive learning environment for children and teenagers. So, what are the primary principles that the supporting assistant should be knowledgeable of when employed in a school setting?

The principles of relationship building:

Effective communication with its both sides verbal and non-verbal is vital to develop positive relationships with everyone, from inside the school setting and from outside it like parents and careers. It has a good effect on children emotionally, intellectually, and socially as it provides them a harmonious and a happy learning environment. It really is hard to make relationships with everyone in the institution setting especially when we come across different people with different ideas, morals, and working practices. Therefore using good communication principles helps us easily to construct positive relationships.

We value children and young people when we respect them and when we talk to them effectively by listening and making a chance to them. We have to consider their feelings as well by avoiding making assumptions and prejudgements, and try to know what the reason why that push those to behave differently. Whenever we show curiosity about children as human beings so when we behave with them with a sense of humour makes relationship building with them easy task.

There are some social, professional, and cultural factors that affect our communication and relationships with people. Due to that the communication can be either formal or informal depending on context and situation we could in. A formal communication may appear between a parent and any working staff in the school when discussing the child's behaviour; it will happen as well when the teacher is discussing any learning information with children. Alternatively the informal one is considered to be a competent manner to create relationships between teachers themselves and support assistants and also between teachers and their pupils. Informal communication gives more space and freedom for everybody in the institution setting to get to know each other deeply. The other factor to be considered is culture. We already mentioned that working in a school setting we may come across different people from differing backgrounds and cultures. For that reason, it is mandatory that people modify our communication to be satisfactory for everyone to avoid any misunderstandings, because what might be considered as respect in a single culture might be looked at as disrespect in another one.

In addition to these principles, the supporting assistant should adopt some skills and adapt them when communicating and when dealing with disagreements, either with children and teenagers or with adults.

Communication skills:

There will vary skills that are essential when we communicating with children. For instance keeping eye contact and adopting the art of silence shows them that their talk is valued by the listener, and it offers them freedom expressing themselves and talk freely, especially children who've a low self-esteem.

Once the child starts speaking we have to pay attention to what they say and react appropriately by correcting their language mistakes implicitly. The usage of questioning is another skill that proves to children that we are thinking about what they say. It is an effective skill that allows us to speak to them. Moreover, we value children more whenever we use body language; bending down to talk to a kid gives her or him feeling of security and equality.

Some other aspects like age children, the context and communication differences are strong reasons for us to adapt our communication with children and teenagers.

When supporting 3-7 years generation, non-verbal communication is more used such as eye contact, tone of voice, gestures and motivation. Whereas, communication with the age selection of 7-12 years is more verbal. Children at this age have a tendency to converse freely with adults as they have significantly more needs and problems to confess. This verbal and non-verbal communication is likely to change though, according to the context of the situation we could in. For example, the modulation of voice may either be soft or loud depending on the activity being supported.

When we adapt communication with children and young people it strongly means that we now have differences that must definitely be placed into consideration.

With children:

The tone of voice should be projected appropriately to assure that the instructions are heard and being applied. The purpose of communication with children aims more to teach them or keep these things do something and we have to show interest, and then listen to them when they are giving an answer to questions being asked.

With teenagers:

The modulation of voice here should not be projected when it's not required to avoid causing any offence. The purpose of communication with young people is different, in conditions of passing a lot of information besides what is being taught to them by adopting verbal communication. In general communication with teenagers takes another sense depending on their level of maturity, on their interest in the subject being taught and depending on their personality.

Besides children and teenagers, adults as careers and parents likewise have some communication needs that support staff should be knowledgeable of, precisely when they pass information from school about their children or to clarify them things that require to be done.

These are some adult's needs that communication should be adapted to meet them:

Literacy: Information should be simplified and clarified as much as possible.

Vision impaired: We ought to show the parents their children's work closely.

Hearing impaired: We have to speak slowly and loudly with a clear voice.

Speaking English as a second language: The supporting assistant should simplify their English language level and a translator should be provided if required.

Communication skills are not only important to develop positive relationships but also to deal with disagreements that can lead to break these relationships, and produce us negative relationships instead. Differences in personalities and culture backgrounds are factors that could lead children to disagree easily if they're not taken to accept and respect others.

When children disagree, it surpasses follow these skills:

-Keep calm, as low voice helps it be easy to discuss the situation.

-Encourage both sides to reconcile and communicate.

-Ensure no issue is dismissed regardless of how big or small these are.

-Encourage both sides to apologise and remind them that they should treat others as they would desire to be treated themselves.

Mostly disagreements happen with adults because of insufficient communication, dishonesty, and inability to compromise, but if these negative elements are avoided adult's disagreements might be decreased. When it's inevitable, adults should straighten out their conflicts far from children's earshot and sight especially if any aggressive disagreement is taking place. The support assistant should discuss other's opinions calmly far from raised voices and assumption making. We have to remain polite and professional once we are representing the institution policies and principles. Then, seek advice from with other employee or the teacher if the disagreement is beyond our position. We ought to also exercise confidentiality in every disagreements and discussions. If the support assistants comes across complicated disagreements, they ought to refer those to teacher or head teacher of the institution and it is also advised that they refer to the school grievance and policy.

The reason for practicing these skills wisely and peacefully in disagreements, guaranties a safe and a secure schooling environment for children, and it helps them to build up their positive attitudes towards others.

Regulations:

Exercising confidentiality in the institution setting is a crucial condition that ensures safety for children and young people. All the school staff has usage of confidential matters of pupils their own families and even the institution information. To guard this data and information, we ought to be aware of the key legislations covering and governing this confidentiality. The Data Protection Act 1998 explains us how to exercise confidentiality lawfully, fairly, appropriately, and professionally.

The teaching assistant has a duty towards children and young people to reassure them that any information related to them is safe and will not be distributed to someone else, as long as these details is not harming the child or anyone else around him. Atlanta divorce attorneys rule there can be an exception no matter how strict this rule is. Therefore, confidentiality must be breached in cases like these:

-Situations disclosed by pupils that could indicate they could come to harm.

-Where a child is involved, or could become involved, in criminal activity.

-Evidence of an adult coming to risk or suffering harm.

The teaching assistant should notify the child protection officer at the earliest opportunity. There may be another case that necessitates sharing data. For example, having a child suffering from any dangerous illness. In cases like this the other members of staff should be aware of the whole situation so that attention is paid to the kid to ensure his safety anytime.

When the teaching assistants raise their understanding of these principles, skills, and regulations it makes their work with children and young people productive and easier. Effective communication and positive relationships are vital contribution to children's progress in the school setting.

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