Competency 5:

Practise effective communication appropriate to the context and audience, enabling responsiveness to diversities of learners

Blue Spruce (₭ÍYÁL¸EŚEȽĆ in SENĆOŦEN) and Western Red Cedar (XPȺ in SENĆOŦEN), Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, BC

Every day educators communicate countless times with students, colleagues, parents and others and facilitate communication between students in the class.  It is critical that teachers learn to listen and speak to people of different ages, cultures and worldviews.  Knowing how to give and receive constructive feedback is essential to your growth as both a teacher and a learner and how you interact with your own students.

As you engage in coursework and field experience, consider your own and other communication styles.  While observing and participating, think about how teachers practice effective communication:

  • How do they communicate with colleagues and adults in the building? What are most appropriate ways to communicate considering diverse audiences and contexts?
  • How do schools communicate with parents in both formal and informal ways?
  • What is in place to support English Language Learners?  How do teachers communicate with families who may not speak English?
  • How does worldview affect communication?
  • What non verbal communication strategies do you see occurring in classrooms?
  • How is communication used in developing a relationally-based community of learners?
  • How are students taught effective communication skills?
  • What happens when communication breaks down? What strategies could you use to reengage?


  • Consider what communication strategies have worked for you. Describe an instance where you used one of these strategies and the outcome.
  • Consider what strategies have not been successful. Describe a situation where there was a breakdown in communication and consider what you would do differently.

What aspects of communication challenge you? Speaking to large groups? Initiating difficult conversations? Accepting and implementing constructive criticism?  What can you do now to work on these skills?