Special Content


Teacher as an Efficient Communicator 

Suresh Verma & Dharvesh Katheriya

Students will forget what the books taught. But they will never forget what the teacher said…Annonymous

The ability to walk into a classroom enthusiastically and have students mesmerized to your teaching is mostly teachers dream for but never try to master. As a teacher, we communicate ideas, information, instructions, views and expectations in various forms- through written words, gestures, body language, voice and presentations. How efficiently as a teacher we are appreciated, is directly proportionate to how well we communicate with our students. A skilful and efficient communicator opens the door to effective conversation.

Communication has various dimensions and meanings. Some refers it as the process of sending and receiving information. Basic components of all models include ‘Sender, Receiver, message, noise and feedback’. If the sender’s message is clear, complete and effective only then receiver will be able to accept and understand the message. Noise should be minimum and always keep space for feedback. Only then a healthy communication climate is created by a teacher.

What makes a great teacher?

A good teacher masters his subject but a great teacher is an excellent communicator. He not only organises his course requirements but also asks intelligent questions. He provides platform for interaction to optimize the outcomes of the course for students in a worthwhile manner. There is a saying, ‘A good teacher is a doctor who heals ignorance and an artist who inspires creativity.’ Efficient teachers are able to listen attentively to their students, analyse their reflections and queries and also give effective feedback in a creative manner.


If teacher is not organized and prepared, he may have to compensate by spending more time with students outside of class. In preparing the lecture teacher should make it as a series of 10-15 minute mini-lectures and separate them by interactive activity breaks.


Questions are integral part of teaching which always stimulate students, engage them, strike their intellectual and thinking process. Good questions asked by a teacher are clear and precise. They are in various forms: an inquiry, a request, MCQ or a description of a problem. Questions are productive, require thinking and lead to new questions. While evaluating, always keep your grading policy consistent. Try to reduce student anxiety by having quizzes and exams more often to make its worth a smaller percentage of their final grade. 


Your eyes are the key to soul and most effective weapon to convince your students about your openness, honesty and confidence. Emerson has rightly said, “An eye can threaten like a loaded gun; or can insult like kicking; or in its altered mood, by beams of kindness, make the heart dance with joy.”


One of the most valuable assets and powerful tool is voice through which you teach, instruct, control and educate. As a teacher, projection and modulation of your voice is very significant aspect of your communication. A good style is to be slightly louder and slightly slower in classroom teaching. You should know the importance of proper pronunciation, pauses, pace, punctuation, pitch of your voice in any presentation and adjust it according to the environment.


Learn to use your whole body as a dynamic tool to reinforce your rapport with your students. Use your hand movement to emphasise points but too much hand waving seems bad. You should find a safe resting place for hands. Your facial expressions enhance meaning to what you say. Make sure these are natural and try not to repeat a gesture frequently. Look at the students in all directions and never fix your eye on an individual.


When a teacher says something important from the examination point of view, level of attention increases among students. Always take a pause in your lecture after making major points. So, if the students know when to listen attentively, they will definitely do. A good teacher keeps balance among all types of students in his classroom and tries to bring forward slow learners in a modest way. When a teacher creates curiosity in his students, it leads to brainstorming and understanding which changes the tone of your classroom.


A great teacher makes complex concepts understandable to his students with his simplicity. This art is very important. When you use metaphors or analogies to express a concept, it becomes more memorable and simple for the students. Explaining with practical examples makes difficult concepts understandable. Someone has rightly said, ‘The influence of a good teacher can never be erased.’


A teacher should be a keen reader of books and magazines. He should be well aware about current affairs- local, regional, national and international issues. He can surge the standard of education to any height.


Your handouts should highlight important points, all information in a logical sequence, must be accurate and up-to-date. It should have active verbs, short sentences, reader should understand the words and matter must be interesting.


A teacher must give assignments, including grading criteria.  Research shows that a series of short assignments throughout the semester is more helpful then a single long assignment. Besides always start with relatively easy problems followed by more challenging problems.


As a good teacher you must try to learn and memorise names of your students with correct pronunciation and call them by name frequently. When you focus your attention upon an object, all your voluntary and involuntary action, drives you towards attaining that object. When you focus your energies upon a thing, you generate a powerful force that can bring you what you want. When you control yourself, only then you can control others and by focusing on your thoughts, your strength increases.


Today we are living in digital age where technology is everywhere. A teacher communicates ideas through various means. With the innovation in technology, students are now becoming not only literate of three R’s i.e. reading, writing and arithmetic but are also media literate i.e. production through text, graphics, music, voice and video. We all know about edutainment software which both entertain and educate. These have game like features. There are computer applications used to engage and enhance thinking which are classified as cognitive tools. These tools manage information and facilitate a teacher to think more creatively, critically and clearly. These include databases, tutorials, simulations, multimedia software and presentation and publishing tools. Integrating technology into teaching can change the way a teacher deliver any content to his students. Teacher can monitor, project, guide their efforts and provide feedback. His role changes from teller and tester into a new form. He becomes a coach, facilitator, co-learner and finally a leader.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


*Have a Clear vision of your objectives

*Appreciate and motivate students

*Be accessible

*Be a team leader

*Use humour appropriately

*Bring innovation in your teaching

*Model curiosity in students

*Create a sense of community and belonging in the classroom

*Keep on learning new skills and spark enthusiasm

Today world is progressing at an unprecedented pace where we need to equip our children with best education to match the giant leaps of human race. We as teachers have great responsibility for their success. Great teachers are amazing, enthusiastic and rare. If you wish to be a great teacher, please ask yourself, do you speak clearly (10), loud enough (10) with proper speed (10)and avoid unwanted pauses ‘ums’ or repeated words (10)? Is your non-verbal communication appropriate (10) ?Are you understandable (10) ? Do you use soft and easy language(10) ? Do you emphasise important points and use logical sequence (10) ? Do you prepare teaching aids skilfully which are easy to understand (10) ? Is your style of presentation appropriate (10) ? If your all answers are ‘YES’, congratulations for being an excellent teacher. If your total score is more than 60 percent, you deserve appreciation.


(Suresh Verma is a Communication Specialist and senior faculty in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. email : askverma@gmail.com. Dr. Dharvesh Katheriya, HOD, Jansanchar, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi VishwaVidyalaya, Wardha, Maharashtra. email : dkskatheriya@yahoo.com )