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Eight Essential Questions Teachers Ask: A Guidebook for Communicating with Students acknowledges and addresses the essential questions and concerns that emerge for teachers in all stages of development. Using a narrative style that incorporates actual voices of teachers, this book offers readers relevant research, peer mentoring, communication-focused recommendations, and reflective practice opportunities. This unique resource provides useful strategies for addressing communication questions that emerge in the teacher development process.
Deanna P. Dannels is Professor of Communication, Director of Graduate Programs, Director of Graduate Teaching Assistant Development, and Associate Director of the Campus Writing and Speaking Program at North Carolina State University.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction to Teacher Communication Concerns
Framework of the Book: Teacher Communication Concerns
Objectives of the Book
Core Assumptions about Teaching
Looking Ahead: Take Home Message
Additional Resources: Teacher Communication Concerns
2. Establishing Credibility
What is Credibility and Why Care?
Research Guidance: Establishing Credibility
Peer Mentor Guidance: Establishing Credibility
Putting it Into Practice: Establishing Credibility on the First Day
Putting It into Practice: Enhancing Credibility Throughout the Course
Addressing Worries about Credibility
--What if I don't know the answer to a question?
--What if I provide inaccurate information?
--What if a student challenges my understanding of the material?
--What if I have no expertise or experience in the topic or with teaching?
--What if a student in my course has more expertise in a topic than I do?
--What if the students ask me how old I am?
--How do I talk to students about my teaching experience?
Learning to Trust: Reflecting on Credibility
Take-Home Message: Credibility
3. Negotiating Power
What Is Power and Why Care?
Research Guidance: Negotiating Power
Peer Mentor Guidance: Negotiating Power
Putting It into Practice: Negotiating Power on the First Day
Putting It into Practice: Negotiating Power Throughout the Course
Addressing Worries about Negotiating Power
--What if a student asks for an exception to a course policy?
--What do I do if a student challenges my authority during class or in an email?
--What do I do if a student is disrupting class?
--How do I handle students who are breaking course policies?
--How do I tell students I mean business without using an iron fist?
--What if a discussion gets out of hand, and I have no control?
--What if someone in a higher position of power usurps my power?
Learning to Trust: Reflecting on Power
Take-Home Message: Negotiating Power
4. Managing Communication Anxieties
What Is Communication Anxiety and Why Care?
Research Guidance: Communication Anxiety
Peer Guidance: Managing Communication Anxieties
Putting into Practice: Managing Communication Anxieties on the First Day
Putting It into Practice: Managing Communication Anxieties Throughout the Course
Addressing Worries: Managing Communication Anxieties
--What if I freeze and cannot remember what I was supposed to say?
--How do I control my nervous habits?
--Should I tell students I am nervous on the first day?
--What if students look to me as a model of public speaking, and I'm a basket case?
--What if a student gets nervous, and I don't know what to do?
--How can I communicate confidence to my students?
--How can I not allow outside stress (e.g., stress from being a student, friend, partner, child or parent) come into the classroom?
Learning to Trust: Reflecting on Communication Anxieties
Take-Home Message: Managing Communication Anxieties
5. Engaging Students
What Is Student Engagement and Why Care?
Research Guidance: Student Engagement
Peer Guidance: Engaging Students
Putting It into Practice: Engaging Students on the First Day
Putting It into Practice: Engaging Students Throughout the Course
Addressing Worries about Engaging Students
--What do I do if I have "sleepers"?
--If I ask a question and no one answers, what should I do?
--How can I make sure technology is engaging rather than enabling?
--How can I motivate students who seem apathetic or lazy?
--What do I do if my students are not taking my class activities seriously?
--What if I do not feel particularly engaged with the content or course?
Learning to Trust: Reflecting on Engaging Students
Take-Home Message: Engaging Students
6. Navigating Relational Dynamics
What Are the Relational Dynamics of the Classroom and Why Care?
Research Guidance: Navigating Relational Dynamics
Peer Guidance: Navigating Relational Dynamics
Putting it into Practice: Navigating Relational Dynamics on the First Day
Putting into Practice: Navigating Relational Dynamics Throughout the Course
Addressing Worries: Navigating Relational Dynamics
--How do I respond to students who are being too familiar with me?
--How much should I tell students about my personal life?
--How should I respond to Facebook friend requests from students?
--What if a student has a crush on me?
--What should I say if students see me out in public in a social situation?
--If a student is upset, how can I console her or him without crossing a boundary?
--What do I do/say if I don't like some of my students?
Learning to Trust: Reflecting on Relational Dynamics
Take Home Message: Navigating Relational Dynamics
7. Acknowledging Difference
What Is Difference and Why Care?
Research Guidance: Acknowledging Difference
Peer Guidance: Acknowledging Difference
Putting It into Practice: Acknowledging Difference on the First Day
Putting It into Practice: Acknowledging Difference Throughout the Course
Addressing Worries about Acknowledging Difference
--What if a discussion about a controversial topic gets too heated?
--Should I tell students my opinions on controversial topics?
--How can I relate to students of a different culture when I don't share their experience?
--What do I say if a student makes a racist, sexist, or any discriminatory remark?
--How can I create a safe classroom where all views are respected?
--I know I won't say everything correctly, how can I recover when I make a mistake with English?
--Do I have to be politically correct about everything?
Learning to Trust: Reflecting on Difference
Take-Home Message: Acknowledging Difference
8. Providing Feedback
What is Feedback and Why Care?
Research Guidance: Providing Feedback
Peer Guidance: Providing Feedback
Putting It into Practice: Creating a Climate of Feedback on the First Day
Putting It into Practice: Creating a Climate for Feedback Throughout the Course
Addressing Worries: Providing Feedback
--What do I say to a student who challenges my grading?
--How much feedback to I really need to give to students?
--How do I ensure I'm being fair and consistent in grading?
--What if a student tries really hard but does not do well?
--Should I allow students a second chance?
--How can I make sure grading does not take over my life?
--What do I say when I give grades back?
Learning to Trust: Reflecting on Providing Feedback
Take-Home Message: Providing Feedback
9. Making a Difference
How Can You Make a Difference? Philosophical Guidance
--John Dewey and Experiential Education
--Paulo Freire and Problem-Posing Education
--Parker Palmer and the Inner Life of Teaching
--bell hooks and Engaged Pedagogy
Looking Back: Reflection on Action
Looking Forward: Imagination Work
Breathe, Lean, Move