by Elliot Perlis, Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El


Communication is key in any situation. Being a teen aid is not exempt from this rule. Whether it is verbal communication or nonverbal, communication is important to ensure that we, as aides, are doing the best we can do to keep students engaged and learning. In this session of the TAP program, we learned not only how to communicate better with students, but also how to best listen to and understand the communications from students.

Early in the session, we discussed the phrase “All behavior is communication”. This phrase applies to everyone, students, teachers, and aides alike. Students use their behavior to communicate their interest level and engagement. Interpreting behavior as non-verbal communication is an important skill to have as an aide or teacher. Behavior can also be used by teachers and aides to communicate what we want the students to do.

Later in the session, we discussed more verbal forms of communication. One of the major phrases that we talked about was “This is Boring”. That phrase can mean many things ranging from “this is too easy” to “I have a lot of energy right now”. Discerning what a student means when saying that and helping them falls on us, but now we are better equipped to do so.