Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools NVQ Level 3 STL18 Support pupilsâ learning activities

K17 the importance of active listening and how to do this Active listening makes the person who is talking feel worthy, appreciated and re spected. This applies when I am listening to both children or adults. When I g ive someone all of my attention the speaker responds positively by interacting w ith me on a deeper level and by becoming more relaxed. When I pay particular att ention to what a child or adult is saying, I encourage them to continue talking, as well as ensuring communication remains open and positive. Active listening requires more than just me listening to what a child or adult says. It involves me taking an interest in them, making sure they are comfortable about communicat ing. When listening to another person, I take into account their body language and also the tone, speed and pitch of their voice, all of which give me clues a s to the nature of the conversation. I demonstrate active listening by employing various techniques. These include: Facing the speaker and showing attentiveness. Maintaining eye contact which shows the speaker I am interested in them and what they have to say. Responding appropriately, eg, by displaying positive body language, nodding, smi ling, eyebrow raising and using open welcoming gestures, thus prompting the spea ker to continue talking. Focusing solely on what the speaker is saying will enable me to follow the logic al flow of the conversation with ease. Asking questions for clarification, so that the speaker is aware that I understa nd what is being said. Understanding that communication is the basis of all relationships, regardless o f whether the relationships are personal or professional. As a teaching assistant, I may have better opportunities than teachers for getti ng to know individual children because I have more time to talk and develop rela tionships with them. This enables me to gain an insight into what motivates the m, their interests and abilities, and how to keep them focused on learning activ ities. When listening to children, all staff should be are aware that they need to show they are interested in what a child has to say by actively listening. It is very frustrating when talking to another person to find that they are not listening properly so that what had been said needs to be repeated. I show that I am listening through the use of body language and the amount of interest I di splay, including how I respond. If I only appear half-interested, this also giv e the speaker the message that I do not value what they are saying. It is impo rtant for children to gain the approval of adults and most respond better to a m ember of staff who is taking the time to listen to them. This also means that c hildren are more likely to talk to staff and confide in them if there is anythin g wrong, as these kinds of factors will influence their learning. I also use the above techniques when communicating with adults. These include c olleagues, volunteers and parents. It is important for good team work that I co mmunicate and listen actively. When I actively listen to an adult, I am able to take on board their point of view, and clearly understand what they are saying to me. By using active listening techniques, I am clear about what is being sai d to me and this avoids any unnecessary misunderstandings.

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