Professional relationships

Communication tips for paraprofessionals

Like any relationship, a good professional relationship takes work. Here are some communication tips you can use to build stronger relationships with your fellow paraprofessionals, teachers and administrators.
 
  • Share your vision for the future with your colleagues, both other paraprofessionals and teachers. Take time to get to know them and their professional goals. All educators strive to provide students the best learning experiences possible; discuss ways you can work together to give these experiences to your students.
  • Know that every professional relationship is affected by diverse personalities and differences of opinion. Communication is the key. Sit down with a person with whom you are having difficulties, and respectfully discuss ways you can address the situation. By doing so, you’ll show that you are proactive and want to better the relationship. Be calm, and have a plan for discussing things that are bothering you. Have specific ideas for solutions to the problem and be open to compromise.
  • Be conscious of the signals you are sending with your posture, facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice and gestures. Make sure you are sending the message you intend. Nonverbal communication is often overlooked by the person doing it and the only communication the other person receives.
  • Remember that everyone has a distinct way of viewing and reacting to situations. In the end, you can control only your actions.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses. Try to recognize both your professional strengths and areas in which you need improvement. Working on personal growth can help your relationships thrive.