interpersonal communication between teacher and student


            Interpersonal Communication between Student and Teachers has barriers, hindering them from communicating effectively. These are self concept, non verbal communication and consequences. On the other hand, there are strategies to manage these kinds of conflicts. These are word choice, evaluating relationships and improving relationships. Despite all these concepts, however, the power of listening is all that it takes to effective communication. It is most important, in almost any relationship, that as one talks, the other should listen.


            According to Gemmy Allen (1998) of the Dallas County Community College District, communication is a means of establishing different relationships and making organization possible. It involves aspects such as a sender, a receiver, a message, a medium, feedback and noise. These aspects form a process. The sender will deliver a message through a certain medium to the receiver. Feedback is the reaction or answer of the receiver, who becomes a sender of a new message. Noise is considered as the external factors that may ultimately influence the very nature and meaning of the message before it is received. This is often true for cross-cultural conversations.

            Communication is not just to relay a message, but it is also used for motivation, inspiration, entertainment, and persuasion, especially in the organizational context. With this, effective communication must be established to eliminate confusion and misinterpretations of these messages. It is the careful deliberation of the different aspects of the communication process to make sure that the message that is being sent will be delivered in the manner in which it should be interpreted. Misconceptions are the usual outcomes of mismanagement of communication.

            With all said, the interpersonal communication between a teacher and a student may be effective with the means of careful listening. There are barriers which hinders a message from being sent and fed back to both constituents. These are self concept, non verbal communication and consequences. On the other hand, there are also strategies in managing these conflicts. These are the word choice, evaluating relationships as well as improving these relationships. The role and kind of listening applied to their nature of communication is vital to the whole process. With this, is should be established that as one talks, the other should listen.

Barriers to Effective Communication

Self Concept

            According to sources, Self-concept refers to how one perceives himself or herself. In short, the theory blatantly refers to the ego of a person. A person may see himself or herself fit in many aspects such as being confident, independent, and social. Their perception of the self has relevance as to defining themselves in relation to others. If there is a match or certain levels of similarity between the constituents under comparison, then there will most likely be a good relationship. On the other hand, if there is much to disagree about, then this becomes a barrier in communicating effectively.

            It cannot be helped that barriers are built fast and strong.  These are usually in forms of languages and personal preferences. Between teachers and students, it could be that their cultural backgrounds also have a part on how they perceive themselves and should relate with others. Their relationships with each other are also influenced due to the nature of their ideas and biases. One of them might have stereotypes against the other leading to the point that they might not even communicate well. However, self concept might not allow them to communicate verbally, but there are also means of non verbal communication.

Non Verbal Communication

            According to Fort Hays State University, non verbal communication is defined as an exchange of messages without words. This involves facial expressions, posture, manner of dressing, and even the tone of voice. Space and other objects communicate as well. Whether it was intended to or not, it will never be possible for a person to never communicate. In the same article, it was mentioned that words can have the same meaning as silence. Either message will always have an influence on other factors. This, on the other hand, becomes a barrier because it is more difficult to encapsulate the definite meaning of a non-verbal signal than with words.

            The article mentioned that most of the communication that goes through a class are non verbal. These are considered stronger than words and even more accurate to the feelings of the students, but there would still remain a certain level of uncertainty with regards to its real meaning. These non-verbal signals are also a means to find the behavior of a person. Unfortunately, it is still true in this matter that misinterpretations may occur. With this, the flow of an average class discussion may be an array of signals that communicate different meanings.


            The interpersonal communication between a student and a teacher has an effect on how either is motivated to study and teach harder. However, the consequences brought about by the interaction between the student and teacher may also be a wide array of positive or negative actions.

            Classical theories, according to website All Academic Research, with regards to the interpersonal relationship suggests that the either constituent will have a change in their attitude and behavior due to the influences they received from the other party. Relating this to the interpersonal relationship between a student and a teacher, the ideologies of either will affect them both.

            A teacher who teaches to have a job will imply that the students are not even worth much. They are a job and not the next generation to lead the world. If the teacher would show compassion and dedication in his or her work, then the students might get the idea that there are people who will work hard for their welfare.

            Simultaneously, if a student shows a teacher his or her lack of interest in the subject, the teacher might find that he or she is just wasting their time to even try. If the student shows enthusiasm in the subject as well, the teacher might find that what he or she is doing will all be worth it when the students graduate.

            However, this nature in their relationship will not always come in such a black and white manner. The dedication and determination of the student or the teacher will lead the flow of their relationship. If the student is truly reluctant in learning anything from the teacher in this particular subject, then the lessons might not retain in him or her. On the other hand, if the teacher is just as determined to get these lessons across, then the student will learn. The consequences rely on whether one influences the other to fail or to succeed. The former usually brings doubt.

Strategies for Managing Conflicts

Word Choice

            As in any environment and profession, word choice is very important. It is subjected to the nature of the message and who the recipient is. Word choice is most important to introduction. The first words one would say will influence the image he or she displays to the person he or she is talking to. In the regard, the teacher or the students who used foul words in their first meeting would most likely retain the image of bad company.

            To establish a good relationship with a student, and to achieve effective communication, it is important that students and teachers alike should choose their words well. Even without their intention, the words they would say may be misinterpreted in the means that they did not wish. They would have wanted to establish better relationships, but what they might have said may mean differently. This discrepancy lies in the age different and social upbringing. Being sensitive to this aspect of a person is very important in order to relate with them well.

Evaluating Relationships

            Between individuals, it is important to establish where the relationship truly lies. This is to decide how the communication should be like between these constituents. It is not necessary to have this verbally discussed between the two. A silent agreement would also suffice. The relationship will not only establish how the communication should be between two people. It should also be able to point if criticisms are to be corrected.

            Relationships may come one way or two ways. This means that a perception might be an opinion or a mutual understanding between the two people. A teacher who simply wants a job is a one way relationship. But when a teacher wants the student to take part in the learning process, and that the student is likewise eager with the lesson, then what the teacher and student have is a two-way relationship.

            This will allow less misinterpretations since both constituents would go along well. According to a source, the US Department of Education in 1998 established that 35% of the students they surveyed said that they did not go along well with their teachers, which had an effect on their education.

            By reevaluating the relationship between a student and a teacher, communication flow may be go more smoothly. The concern here, however, would be if the student or the teacher will have the initiative to do that. It is unfortunate to find that there are a number of teachers who teach for the money and students who study for the grade. The learning experience should suffice their satisfaction instead of one sided relationships.

Improving Relationships

With the need to refurbish word choice and their relationship in school, the means to improve the relationship between the student and the teacher would lie on improving their communication skills. This, in turn, will help the relationship that exists between the two constituents to a livable condition that is beneficial for the both of them. A common ground may be better established.

Moreover, both parties should be able to learn the aspect of listening well. To improve the relationship between two individuals or parties, it is important that one party should listen. What is meant here is that they are not just hearing what the other is saying. Listening is when the other is speaking and the other would hear the words, take it in, think about it, and return a well thought of opinion. This way, the relationship does not only rely on how one thinks of the situation, but also how the other has an influence on how one thinks of the situation. It is a means of understanding each other.


According to website Learning Group, Listening is a means of giving the speaker a certain amount of power. It is allowing the speaker to listen and think more profoundly about what they are saying instead of waiting for a point of interruption from the audience. Listening is also considered as a tool for internal criticism and external relations. It is also about making a well formed opinion that would be open for discussion. It allows relationships of different kinds to grow farther and better than it already is.

There are four kinds of Listening, as the website from the Southwest Tennessee Community College. These are Appreciative Listening, Comprehensive Listening, Critical Listening and Emphatic Listening. The first point to when one listens to find certain information that would be beneficial to the listener. The second type surpassing the kind of listening that discriminates individuals. It is about listening to facts and nothing less. The third type is when analysis becomes involved. Likewise, judgment is also involved. Lastly, the fourth type of listening is when one listens beyond sympathy to grasp and understand how others are feeling.

With the conventional nature of a relationship between a student and teacher, a teacher is expected to teach the lesson and the student to listen to the lesson. However, in this day and age, the relationship is altered in such a manner that one will talk so the other would listen. Teachers are not the only elements of a classroom that has a lesson to share. Teachers may also learn from their students.


            In conclusion, listening is the most important aspect not only in the communicating process, but also in communicating effectively. There are barriers that will always hinder a smooth communication between two constituents. Likewise, there are also strategies in finding solutions for these conflicts. Based on the abovementioned data, however, it is found that listening still hold the key to the most effective communication. Listening is more than hearing for there is an in-depth understanding of the messages and meanings that are being relayed in between the sender and the receiver. With this, one talks so the other will listen.


(n.d.). Evaluating and improving relationships: Managing conflicts. Retrieved August 27, 2008 from

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(2008 May 21). Business etiquette: Verbal communication and word choice. Retrieved August 27, 2008 from

(2008). Types of listening. Retrieved August 27, 2008 from

Allen, G. (1998). Communicating.  Retrieved August 27, 2008 from

Bacal, R. (2006). What is “critical listening?” Retrieved August 27, 2008 from

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Uekawa, K., & Bidwell, C. (2008). Student-teacher interaction and faculty cohesion: Consequences for students’ academic motivation and conduct. Retrieved August 27, 2008 from


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