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Communication Tip:

Originally written by Kerry for tutorial reference material, rewritten as one of several articles for Communication Weekly —which is no longer on line.

Homework Tip for Teachers
Premise: Whether or not a student turns in his/her homework on time, done completely, with neat penmanship, is a function of a teacher's leadership-communication skills.
Communication at the level of skill is not taught to university education majors, in part because a communication mastery curriculum addresses personal integrity—beginning with the willingness to acknowledge the correlation between ones integrity and outcomes.  i.e. A failing student mirrors a teacher's integrity.

Mastery requires that one;
  • be willing to commit to telling the truth under all circumstances.
  • be willing to give up gossiping and blaming.
  • be willing to master creating agreements that work.
  • be willing to clean up (acknowledge) life's perpetrations.
  • be willing to communicate openly, honestly, and spontaneously in ones personal/professional relationships.
  • be willing to verbally communicate an upset to the person with whom you are upset.
  • be willing to get into communication with your communication-skills coach whenever there is an unresolved breakdown in communication.
  • be able to quote verbatim a definition of the word responsibility.
  • be willing to resolve all breakdowns in communication in your personal relationships or, to be willing to estrange yourself from the abusive one(s) —else, you will non-verbally model for students how to both cause and put up with abuse.
Included in any communication mastery curriculum for educators is the subject of anger; how to get (recreate) another's anger and how to be with, and verbally, responsibly, communicate, your own anger, through to mutual satisfaction. This means, an education major must recall and verbally acknowledge (from cause) their experiences of all unresolved angers throughout their life (a teacher must be willing to give up blaming others for the effects of their leadership-communication skills).

Because communication mastery is such a challenging curriculum (2 semesters per year for all 4 years) a significant percentage of education majors would get angry and quit. Universities cannot afford to lose an angry student's tuition; this accounts for the present mandate of university/college speech-communication curriculums—to "inform" and "introduce" education majors to the principles and fundamentals of communication. Obviously, one would not want a brain surgeon who was merely informed and introduced to the fundamentals of surgery. I'm unaware of any university/college that requires leadership training for education majors, consequently, military corporals have more leadership experience than most educators.

Communication is a function of intention:

Teachers who intend for homework to be turned in on time and neatly, produce that result. To master communication one must be willing to study the subject of intention.

Intention as a communication variable is not taught in university speech/communication courses, ironically it is included in the advanced sales training curriculums for most Fortune 500 organizations.

To be clear about intention one must be willing to look at and study the premise that results equals intention, that results reveal intention. In other words, the way to discover what your intentions have been is to look at the results you've been producing for yourself and those with whom you relate; all results are produced via one's leadership-communication skills.

For instance:

I said I wanted a certain new client. I did all the right things, yet the client declined. Why would I go through the motions, truly believing that I intended to have a new client, all that work, if my unconscious intention was to fail? Better still, what was occupying my mind, that I could not see that I had not been in-communication with the prospective client? For me it was an ego thing, discovering that I wanted to be right, that they wouldn't recognize genius if it bit them. H'm, I was more interested in being right than succeeding?

More about homework:

Many teachers lie when they pass out homework and some students know it. What many teachers communicate (not say) is:
"For those of you who want to do the homework here it is, however, if you don't want to do it I most likely won't make you do it. And, you know from experience, even if you do turn it in I'll allow you to do it with poor penmanship."

"As a matter of fact, you can sometimes count on me to forget to collect it. Also, as you've noticed, there really isn't any immediate consequence for not turning in homework; you know that I do not call your parents and tell them you've broken the homework agreement you and they made with me."
For everyone's homework to be done consistently, to a satisfactory standard, one starts with intention.

That is to say, a teacher can honestly believe they are intending for everyone to do the homework, yet find out later that that's not what they were up to (read The Homework Story). Results other than envisioned always reveal another (unconscious) agenda.

If you have a student who is failing a good place to start from is to ask yourself what you want to be right about rather than have both you and the student succeed? Complete this sentence, "I want to be right, that . . ."

If you'd like to discuss this topic please drop us a line on our Open Forum for Teachers and Parents (free registration required).

For more about intention check out the Communication Skills Tutorial for Teachers, or, imitation of communication.

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Check back occasionally for minor edits (last edited 6/7/17)

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