The Most Appealing Ideas Expressed by the Author
In her book The Power of Our Words: Teacher Language that Helps Children Learn, Paula Denton focused specifically on the ways in which an educator can apply speech and language in order to improve students’ understanding of what is communicated. In particular, the author reviewed various aspects of the classroom communication that help teachers deliver valuable information. The main idea of the author is very appealing.
We will write a custom Book Review on “The Power of Our Words” a Book by Paula Denton specifically for you
301 certified writers online
To be more precise, Denton is convinced that the kind of language used by an educator in the classroom can serve as a powerful tool for the establishment of contact between the teachers and their students. In this book, the author explored an educator’s language as a way of encouraging children, boosting their confidence, and enabling a friendly and welcoming atmosphere in the classroom.
In order to support the claims made in the book, the author used examples and real-life experiences that provided a good demonstration of how the described strategies are expected to work and what effect they may produce. In addition, I found the idea of language as an instrument of enforcement very interesting. In particular, the author stated that by means of communicating the children’s strengths to them and acknowledging their achievements an educator is able to modify their behaviors and create sort of guidance that works unconsciously, leading children in the right direction, making them more decisive, self-aware, focused, and determined.
Also, a separate chapter in the book is dedicated to the process of listening. Specifically, listening is explored as an active part of communication that facilitates further delivery of instruction and the needed level of student compliance.
The Implications of The Ideas in the Book for Me as an Educator
The ideas expressed by Denton in the book are unique in their approach to teacher-student communication and the language used by educators in particular. Also, for educators, these ideas imply the need to master some aspects of psychology that represent communication. To be more precise, in order to be able to employ language for the purpose of modifying, guiding, and enforcing certain behaviors and preventing others, educators need to be aware of psychological mechanisms according to which children’s brains work. In that way, a teacher would have an opportunity to analyze reactions and responses of their students in order to select the most suitable manners and styles of communication.
Ideas of the author imply that educators need to pay more attention to unique communication patterns that occur in classrooms and use self-reflection in order to understand what kind of language could trigger them. Via this form of analysis, teachers would gain an ability to read the classroom atmosphere on multiple levels. In turn, this skill would provide educators with better control over the class that could result in the improvement of discipline.
In other words, according to the author’s ideas, educators should be more focused on the language they and their students use in class. This sounds as more work and responsibilities for teachers, some of whom may even require additional learning and training. However, the aforementioned approach also implies that the teachers who manage to master the skill of advanced classroom communication are going to become more effective as professionals, more perceptive of their students’ moods, and able to maintain quiet and productive classrooms due to a stronger authority.
The Ideas That I Challenge
First of all, it is vital to notice that the concept of communication is one of the core aspects of education that mainly happens via an interaction between a teacher and a student. It goes without saying that the quality of communication is the major driver of the effectiveness of the teaching process. At the same time, the excessive focus on communication can potentially create pressure on both of the participating sides. Attempting to communicate in a more effective or polite manner, a teacher may begin to stress out over the words they use and become distracted from the actual process of teaching.
In the contemporary western society, the level of sensitivity towards words is often very high and, as a result, many simple and common terms and concepts have been successfully transformed into offensive or dangerous things to say. Consequently, communication where one or both of the parties are excessively focused on words can be turned into a very stressful practice that would inevitably result in a conflict.
Moreover, another idea, I would like to challenge, is the possibility of using the encouraging language too often. Superficially, when supervisors, parents, and teachers start to employ complimenting and appreciative language when there is no actual achievement made by a student, this may result in misdirection of the latter and the creation of a belief in a child that he or she is entitled to compliments and appreciation. The same effect is produced by the renowned “participation trophies” – the rewards given to students regardless of their actual contribution to a certain activity, game, or a competitive project.