Strategy: Appropriate Grade Level:

Behavior Management - Classroom Management
Strategy: Using Congruent Communication for Effective Classroom Management
Appropriate Grade Level: 6th-12th grades (Strategy is needed the most during
young adolescence)
 Teachers need to always reflect on what they say to students. Using congruent
communication is “speaking that does not attack others, but instead remains
harmonious with feeling being experienced.”
 Teachers can communicate congruently with young adolescents by:
1. Using active listening techniques (facing the student, eye contact, acknowledge
responses, rephrasing the student’s comments, not interrupting the student)
2. Demonstrating body language and facial expressions that match verbal messages
3. Avoiding traditional communication roadblocks (Ordering, Moralizing,
Interpreting, Reassuring, Questioning)
4. Responding with empathy to students’ anxiety and frustration (listen within the
student’s frame of reference as an adolescent rather than from the frame of reference
as adult teacher)
5. Using culturally responsive communication processes
 Teachers need to engage students in conversations that are based on their personal
interests, issues, and lives. Adolescents are typically dealing with issues that need to
be addressed formally or informally. This conversation should take place within the
first or last five minutes of the class period. These personal conversations build
problem solving skills and help students realize that they are responsible for their
behaviors. “Young adolescents are much more likely to cooperate when they
recognize that teachers are actually hearing what they are saying (Brown, 2005).”
Comments and/or tips:
Students usually engage in respectful relationships with teachers when they know
they are being genuinely cared for.
By being aware of and responding to students’ communication needs, teachers will
increase the opportunities for genuine academic growth.
Brown, D.F. (Sep/Oct 2005). The significance of congruent communication in effective
classroom management. The Clearing House, 79(1), 12-15.