Teachers, academic coaches and parents need to emphasize the importance of communication with their students and their children. They should model what effective communication looks like. Communication is not only talking but also listening. When communicating with another individual, what they say should be treated with respect.

Teachers and academic coaches need to encourage students to express what they think and what they feel. At no time should students be ridiculed. Students need to know that what they say is important. Students should learn to think about what they are going to say before they say it. They should engage in conversation with their teachers, academic coaches and their peers. Since most of the conversations in the classroom are questions, students should know that their questions are invited. They need to take an active role in the learning process. Adults or their peers should not intimidate students. In the classroom, students need to communicate using vocabulary relevant to the concepts being taught. Teaching communication skills by modeling is important.

Parents should integrate all of what teachers and academic coaches teach about communication skills in the classroom into their daily lives. Children should have a voice that is heard. They should not be afraid to express what they are thinking or feeling. Communication skills should be taught beginning in the early years of their lives. Parents should take an interest in the lives of their children. Their children should be able to communicate things that impact them. Children should learn that not all communication is verbal. Facial expressions and body language can express as much as words. As children learn to communicate, they need to learn how to control their behavior and their emotions. They need to learn that their actions should match their words. Expressing what they mean is important. Having channels of communication is importance to all of us.

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