Every teacher, academic coach and parent needs to be a good listener. Students and children need to know that what they say is important. They can learn to be good listeners themselves by observing the adults around them. Be willing to answer questions, as each question asked is important. If you do not understand the question, try and get the student or child to make the question clearer. Never ridicule anyone for questions asked. Do your best to answer the questions promptly and to the best of your ability.

If a student or child is voicing concerns, take all concerns seriously. Make sure that you always have open channels for communications. Develop trust between you and students or children. They should believe that you have their best interests at heart. Believe in the worth of the individual. Make sure that your students or children feel like they are included in the decision-making process. Good communication skills begin from an early age so, teach your students or children to share anything that they are thinking about. They should realize that you are interested in everything in their lives.

Teachers and academic coaches will be more successful if they establish great lines of communication. Their students need to have an active role in any plan for success that is developed for them. They need to know that you are not only interested in their performances in the classroom or at academic meets, but that you are interested in other parts of their lives. Knowing your students will help in understanding more about their study and their practice habits. You will be able to provide better advice the more that you learn about them. If you are a good listener, you can be better prepared to make the adjustments necessary to be a more effective teacher or academic coach. Everyone needs to be better listeners!

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