Teaching requires oral and written communication daily no matter what level of the education system you are teaching on. I was able to get an insight of just how much communication teachers have to be prepared for when entering the classroom.
The Interviewee: Mrs. Diane Madden
Mrs. Diane Madden is the Associate Director of SciTech and a UTeach Professor here at Louisiana Tech University. Before she came to Louisiana Tech she taught everywhere from Virginia to Lincoln Parish schools. Mrs. Madden has taught elementary, junior high, and college students throughout her continuous teaching career. She has taught subjects ranging from art to Earth Science to even education classes.
Oral Communication in the Classroom
Oral communication plays a big role in the classroom. Teachers communicate orally with students and even coworkers on a daily basis. Mrs. Madden talks about how you have to be careful with your words and annunciation to get through to students. She says, “You have to know your audience.” By knowing your audience, it makes it easier to communicate with the students. She explains that for elementary kids you have to use a simpler vocabulary rather than a larger one like you would use for college students.
Written Communication Teachers Face
While oral communication plays a big role in the classroom, written communication plays a bigger role. Mrs. Madden explains how written communication is integrated every day when teaching. It is integrated through bell-works, lesson plans, worksheets, grant writing, and much more. “Written communication is important because you deal with students, parents, and faculty,” said Mrs. Madden. Teachers must watch their grammar and express themselves clearly to get the message across, if not the message is lost.
The Process of Grant Writing
A big part of technical writing that Mrs. Madden faced as a teacher and even the Associate Director of SciTech was grant writing. Grants require a great amount of technical writing skill. Mrs. Madden expressed that it is very time consuming. A big grant takes around “40 hours.” It even takes collaboration with others most of the time. She explained how you have to orally communicate with others to make a grant successful. Sometimes it is difficult she said because you must be concise in your work and collaborating with others is challenging when disagreements arise.
Oral Vs. Written Communication
While both oral and written communication is challenging in their own way, Mrs. Madden says written communication is harder. She expressed how when writing to students they may not always get what you are saying, so you have to think like them to get your message across. Mrs. Madden explained, “Written communication is the hardest because you have to go back and check yourself and look at what it’s telling you.” A big key in written and oral communication is making sure the audience is addressed correctly.
Growing is a Part of Teaching
Mrs. Madden has been in the education system for 20 years, and she said she is always growing as a teacher and through her technical writing skills. “Even though I learned a lot there is still time to improve,” stated Mrs. Madden. Teachers grow through new teaching methods everyday while also improving their communication skills. By being a teacher growth is not a foreign thought, it is a part of what makes the job successful and an even better communicator.
Destiny Rivet, Guest Blogger