The Importance of Effective Communication Between Teachers

Teachers communicating in a meeting

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Effective teacher to teacher communication is vitally essential to your success as a teacher. Regular collaboration and team planning sessions are extremely valuable. Engaging in these practices has a positive impact on teacher effectiveness. Education is a highly difficult concept for those outside the field to understand. Having peers that you can collaborate with and lean on during tough times is essential. If you find yourself in isolation and/or always having a conflict with your peers, then there is a reasonable chance that you may need to make some changes yourself.

What to Avoid When Talking to Fellow Faculty

Here are seven things to avoid when trying to build positive relationships with faculty and staff members at school.

  1. Do not talk about or discuss your co-workers with your students. It undermines the authority of that teacher and additionally taints your credibility.
  2. Do not engage in conversation or discuss your co-workers with a parent. Doing so is unprofessional at best and will create significant problems.
  3. Do not talk about or discuss your co-worker with other co-workers. It creates an atmosphere of divisiveness, mistrust, and animosity.
  4. Do not isolate yourself on a regular basis. It is not a healthy practice. It serves as a hindrance to your overall growth as a teacher.
  5. Avoid being confrontational or combative. Be professional. You may disagree with someone engaging them inappropriately is juvenile at best which undermines your role as a teacher.
  6. Avoid starting, spreading, or discussing gossip and hearsay about parents, students, and/or co-workers. Gossip has no place in a school and will create long-term problems.
  7. Avoid being critical of your co-workers. Build them up, encourage them, offer constructive criticism, but never criticize how they do things. It will do more harm than good.

How to Build Positive Relationships With Staff Members

Here are eleven things to keep in mind when trying to build positive relationships with faculty and staff members at school.

  1. Encourage and show kindness and humility. Never let an opportunity to show kindness or encouragement to others to pass. Praise exemplary work, regardless of the person that did it. Sometimes you can turn even the most hardened of your fellow workers into real softies once they realize that you are not afraid to compliment them or give encouraging words, despite how they may perceive you ordinarily. At the same time, when giving criticism, do it helpfully and gently, never spitefully. Show concern for another's feelings and well being. You will benefit immensely from even the smallest kindness shown.
  2. Be happy. Every day you go to work, you need to make a choice to be happy. Making a choice to be happy on a day to day basis will make people around you more comfortable on a day to day basis. Don’t dwell on negatives and maintain a positive attitude.
  3. Refuse to engage in gossip or hearsay. Don't allow gossip to rule your life. In the workplace, morale is vitally essential. Gossip will tear apart a staff faster than anything else. Do not engage in it and nip it in the bud when it is presented to you.
  4. Let the water roll off your back. Don’t let negative things said about you get under your skin. Know who you are and believe in yourself. Most people that talk negatively about other people do so out of ignorance. Let your actions determine how others see you, and they will not believe the negative things said.
  5. Collaborate with your peers – Collaboration is vitally essential among teachers. Don’t be afraid to offer constructive criticism and advice with a take it or leave it approach. Also of equal importance, don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help in your classroom. Too many teachers think this is a weakness when it is truly a strength. Finally, master teachers share ideas with others. This profession is truly about what is best for the students. If you have a brilliant idea that you believe in, then share it with those around you.
  6. Watch what you say to people. How you say something counts for just as much as what you say. Tone does matter. When confronted with a difficult situation, always say less than you think. Holding your tongue in a difficult situation will make it easier for you in the long run because it will create confidence among others in your ability to handle a similar situation.
  7. If you make a promise, you better be prepared to keep it. If you intend to make promises, you had better be prepared to keep them, no matter what the cost. You will lose the respect of your peers quicker than it took you to gain it by breaking promises. When you tell someone that you intend to do something, it is your responsibility to see to it that you follow through.
  8. Learn about others’ outside interests. Find a common interest that you have with others (e.g. grandchildren, sports, movies, etc.) and spark a conversation. Having a caring attitude will build trust and confidence in others. When others are joyful, rejoice with them; when troubled or in mourning, be sympathetic. Make sure each person around you knows that you value them and know that they are important.
  9. Be open-minded. Do not get into arguments. Discuss things with people rather than argue. Being combative or disagreeable is likely to put others off. If you don’t agree with something, think your response through and don’t be argumentative or judgmental in what you say.
  10. Understand that some peoples’ feelings are hurt easier than others. Humor can bring people together, but it can also tear people apart. Before you tease or joke with a person, make sure you know how they are going to take it. Everyone is different in this aspect. Take into account another person's feelings before you poke fun.
  11. Don’t worry about accolades. Do your best. It's the best you can do. Let others see your work ethic, and you will be able to take pride and pleasure in a job well done.
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Your Citation
Meador, Derrick. "The Importance of Effective Communication Between Teachers." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Meador, Derrick. (2020, August 27). The Importance of Effective Communication Between Teachers. Retrieved from Meador, Derrick. "The Importance of Effective Communication Between Teachers." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 4, 2023).