We Strive to be Communicators!

Jan 27th, 2017

We Strive to be Communicators!

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Learner Profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success.  The Profile implies a commitment to help all members of the school community learn to respect themselves, others, and the world around them. The Profile consists of 10 attributes.  This week we have focused on the attribute, Communicator.

Thank you to Mrs. Nixon’s class for helping us learn more about being communicators!

Communicators express themselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in different ways.  Communicators can express their ideas by speaking, drawing, using technology, and writing.  They can also communicate using mathematical, musical, and artistic language and symbols.  Communicators collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.

Being a communicator includes listening and speaking in addition to viewing and presenting information.  Listening involves more than just hearing sounds, it requires active and conscious attention in order to make sense of what is heard. Purposeful talk enables us to articulate thoughts as we construct and reconstruct meaning to understand the world around us. 

Watch this video on the importance of developing communication skill as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

How can parents help at home to develop children who are Communicators?

  • Encourage your child to stay in touch with relatives and friends by writing letters, using the phone or sending email.
  • When working on homework, encourage your child to explain his/her answer to you orally or by drawing a picture.
  • Ask your child thought-provoking questions and encourage them to discuss them with you. For example: What would you do if you were scared of someone?  Is there anything you cannot buy with money? Should you get an allowance?
  • Work with your child to improve his/her listening skills. Being a good listener is an important part of communicating with others.
  • Practice letting other people finish their sentences
  • After reading a book, spend some time considering how the people in the book were able to communicate what they were thinking. How were ideas expressed by the characters?
  • Allow your child opportunities to understand the ways in which images and language interact to convey ideas, values, and beliefs.  Look at how advertisements, brochures, computer games, websites, movies, posters, signs, logos, flags, maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, illustrations, graphic organizers, cartoons and comics all communicate a message or messages.
  • Discuss ways you and your child can communicate ideas or perspectives in online formats, including social media.  Before posting things online ask:  Is it kind and skillful?  Would I say this face to face?  Should I be taking action vs. posting comments?  Will my response constructively add to the conversation?  What is my motive for posting/responding?
  • Ask why. Whether your child is talking about the solution to a math problem or a favorite football team’s defensive lineup, encourage sharing thoughts and opinions. Don’t stop at what your child thinks and why; ask your child how he or she knows something. 
  • Journaling is an excellent way for children to hone the art of expressing themselves.
  • Encourage your child to be involved in extracurricular activities that build communication skills. 
  • Model good communication. The primary way that your child will learn how to communicate is by observing you. So, be present when your child speaks to you.
  • Remember: communicating is a skill that must be strengthened over time. Work with your child on developing strong communication skills and you will help him or her build skills for lifelong success. No matter what your child does in life, knowing how to communicate with people will serve him or her well.

10 Fun Ways to Teach Children Effective Communication Skills

Anne LaLonde Laux
International Baccalaureate (IB) Coordinator
Enrichment Teacher & Coordinator