Helping Student Teachers to Use
Assertive Communication

Even when communication starts well with clear roles and expectations for both parties, student teachers (ST) almost always discover that, at some point, they have something difficult to say to their cooperating teacher (CT or CI). Perhaps they disagree with an activity the CT wants included or perhaps a difference in working styles has led to tension. As is true when dealing with any problem, the way in which concerns are expressed matters. (Note: A first step towards clarifying communication should be the Roles & Expectations Recording Form.)

Watch this overview of assertive communication. Then try your assertive communication and active listening skills by considering some difficult situations (taken from real cases) and assertive ways to address them.

What can I say?

Assertive communication is the direct and clear expression of one's needs, desires, thoughts and feelings, while considering and respecting the needs of others.

Consider this example




A workshop on assertive communication...

This podcast is adapted from the Assertive Communication Workshop held by Margaret (Mittie) Harvey for the Teacher Education Program at UVA’s Curry School of Education.

Challenging Cases

Active listening

Communication training always includes a reminder of how important it is to listen; here is expert advice we've found:

student teacher It's very important to listen. A lot of the communication isn't just talking... it's taking in what they're saying." - Daniel Furman, Student Teacher