How Collaborative Communication Impacts Classrooms

Impacts Classrooms
Cross Country Education
February 10, 2023 06:03 AM (GMT-04:00)
Educator Resources

Collaborating requires being willing to work with others as a team. This is not always innate and may pose challenges at times.  It often requires skilled communication through listening, curiosity for others, and the sharing of insights and acceptance of feedback. The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) encourages educators to “assume positive intent of others and ensure that everyone’s voice is equally heard and that everyone is contributing.”¹  In education, collaboration between colleagues supports the learning outcomes of students, builds common understanding, and supports professional development. Although perspectives and knowledge can differ, educators should consider working with the strengths of others to build support within the classroom.² As an educator, it’s important to rely on those around you, and it starts with collaboration.

Collaborative communication skills often need to be learned and fostered through practice. According to the New Zealand Ministry of Education (TKI), developing collaborative skills includes:

  • actively contributing to a safe and supportive learning environment
  • being skilled at managing conflict
  • having a growth mindset³

These components inform educators on their practice, mindset, and are key factors that impact the social and emotional wellbeing of students and staff. A 2016 article notes that, “building teacher capacity to manage conflict is an important focus for ongoing teacher professional learning and supports teachers to address issues that arise.” Conflict in the classroom may be unavoidable but empathetic strategies will allow you to reinforce positive coping skills.

When collaborating consider:

  • Being solutions oriented, which includes working towards a common goal and trying different approaches.
  • Listening with empathy and with the intent of understanding others.
  • Striving for a growth mindset. 
  • Reflecting and applying new insights to your practice.

Imagine teams of people working to create a learning environment for students. That is the ideal goal, because collaboration encourages educators to reflect on shared perspectives and to grow within their practice. By collaborating with others, you can build rapport, grow as a professional, find resources, and develop better ways to support your students.

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