In the Unit of Inquiry “I am a citizen”, the teachers of 2nd Primary Education (IB PYP Program) have set up an activity in which their students have been able to experience what an electoral process and democracy are, going from the very first step to the final objective which was the election of a class representative.
With this activity, the students have worked, the IB profile of good communicators (through the elaboration of electoral programs, slogans, logos, rallies…), as well as the reflective, when assessing who to vote for as their representative.
In addition, our students have shown to be responsible and respectful, and to have developed critical thinking skills. This has been the result:
Benefits of being good communicators
The ability to communicate is part of the social skills that allow us to function effectively and naturally with other people. This is the fundamental objective of our International Baccalaureate methodology, present in our school from the age of three years old thanks to the Continuum of Programs (PYP, MYP and DP). Being a good communicator fosters integration in social and work groups; helps reinforce self-esteem and confidence; and promotes self-assurance by being able to communicate assertively, defending one’s opinion and, most importantly, respecting the opinions of others.
How to be good communicators?
- Verbal language. Speaking with too high or too low volume, not vocalizing enough, or using too many filler words or slurring words, detracts from the strength of the message we wish to convey. It is necessary to be precise, to know how when to pause for a breath, to respect turns of speech, and to be inclusive in the message that we send.
- Active listening. Being a good listener allows you to receive all the information, process it and work with it. Whether it is to discuss a topic, answer a question or solve a problem, it is essential to pay attention to the message we are being sent.
- Empathy. Being empathetic is one of the most valuable social skills because it helps to understand the needs of others, their situation and their way of behaving; and even if we disagree with the opinions of others, being empathetic helps to send a clearer and more effective message.
- Kindness. Having a friendly attitude encourages people to approach us and want to interact with us. To show this attitude, you can adopt simple gestures such as smiling, maintaining eye contact and having a receptive body posture.
- Positive comments. There is a growing awareness of the need to transmit messages in a way that has a constructive effect; in other words, messages that reinforce self-esteem and encourage self-improvement.
- Written communication. Mastering the art of writing is increasingly necessary given that new technologies have increased this way of interacting. It is essential to take care of the image we convey in e-mails, social networks, web content, WhatsApp messages…
- Non-verbal communication. Our body reacts involuntarily to certain stimuli. Therefore, if we want to imply that we are receptive, we must show a relaxed posture and not make jerky movements.
- Confidence. We must generate it and transmit it by using simple strategies such as maintaining a firm and confident tone that does not let on any doubt.
- Open-mindedness. We must be aware that there may be different points of view about the same fact, and we have to listen to them without judging. Keeping an open and flexible mind will facilitate more honest and productive conversations.
- Respect. All opinions, beliefs, ideas and values should be respected. We all like to be taken into consideration, but for that to happen we must also respect others.
- Choose the right medium. We need to be thoughtful and know what form of communication to use at any given time. We must assess who we want to address and what we want to talk about.