Education | Communication in the Classroom
G203 | 5871 | Dan Cramer

Syllabus Disclaimer: As the instructor of this course, I reserve the
right to make changes to the syllabus as needed. I will inform
students of any changes at the earliest date possible in class or via

Required Reading Materials:

• Kottler & Kottler, “Counseling Skills for Teachers”
• Throughout the semester, articles will be placed on reserve in the
Education Library. Directions on how to access these materials will
be reviewed in class.

Course Philosophy:

This is a course about communication. We have all been communicating
for many years, since the first words we uttered, and even before
that considering that communication consists of our non-verbals in
addition to the words we use. Communication is a complex thing, and
the necessity of a class discussing it is all the more important
because of the frequency with which we use it, yet the lack of
thought most of us give to it. Understanding and purposefully using
communication to convey and receive messages is an important life
tool. This course has been designed to explore the facets of
communication and to examine how to effectively communicate. As
future teachers, students will be responsible for communicating with
students, other teachers and professionals, and students’ family
members, thus it is essential that they are able to understand and
interpret what is being communicated by others.

Course Objectives:

• Students will develop skills on how to build a sense of community
in the class room.
• Students will practice skills that will help them communicate more
Students will develop their own philosophy of communication based on
in-class readings, discussions, and  self-reflection.
• Students will develop a greater comfort in communicating with
parents and faculty.

Important Notes:

Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities, physical or
learning that may affect their achievement in this course, please let
your instructor know immediately, so that any necessary modifications
of presentation style, curriculum,  or/and assessment can be made.
Modifications and accommodations will be made after the student has
presented documentation indication qualification from Disabled
Student Services (DSS). Please see the Handbook for Students with
Disabilities for eligibility requirements.

Academic Misconduct: Cheating, plagiarism, sexual harassment,
racial/ethnic/sexual orientation discrimination, slurs, or any other
student misconduct that adversely affects the learning or safety of
other students will not be tolerated in my classroom or this campus.
If any student becomes aware of any of these activieies, or feels
that they have been the victim of harassment, ,discrimination, or any
other act of malicious intent, please contact me. For more
information about this topic, please see:

Course Expectations:

E-mail: An e-mail account is required for this class and should be
checked regularly, as important course information is sent from your

Active Participation: Based on the course curriculum, this class is
taught through a number of different methods, including lecture,
discussion, and in-class activites. Because of this, attendance and
participation are essential to effectively develop the skills this
course focuses on.  For this reason students are expected to be in
class and to participate. Students can earn up to two participation
points for each class they attend. Students will be awarded points
based on attendance, activity in discussion and activities, and
demonstrated understanding of course readings and material.

Attendance: As stated above, attendance is expected in this course.
Exceptions will be made if students are ill and can provide a
doctor’s note or if there is a family emergency.

Assignments: All assignments are to be typed and turned in to me at
the beginning of the assigned class. Assignments are to be typed,
double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font with one-inch margins
around the document. Handwritten work will not be accepted. Part of
learning how to communicate effectively is learning how to write
effectively, and so although my main concern in your writing is
content, please watch carefully for spelling and grammatical errors,
points will be deducted for such.

Late Assignments: All assignments are due on the date posted. Late
assignments will be penalized 10% for each day that they are late.
Assignments that are not turned in will receive no points.

Graded Assignments:

Assignment: Total Possible Points:
Identity Collage 25 pts
Reflection Papers 75 pts
Midterm Exam 50 pts
Parent Teacher Conference 50 pts
Philosophy of Communication Paper 100 pts
Participation Points: 50 pts
350 pts

Grading Scale:

A+ = 100%
A  = 94-99%
A- = 90-93%
B  = 84-86%
B+ = 87-89%
B- = 80-83%
C+ = 77-79%
C  = 74-76%
C- = 70-73%
D+ = 67-69%
D  = 64-66%
D- = 60-63%


1. Reflection Papers: Throughout the semester you will be asked to
write 5 reflection papers. These are reactions to readings, class
videos, and class discussion. These papers should not be summarizes
of what was read or discussed, summaries will not be accepted. The
purpose of these papers is deepen your understanding of these topics
by asking you to think critically about them, synthesize them with
your own beliefs about teaching and communication. Specific
directions for each reflection paper will be given to you at least
one week prior to the assignment being due. Due dates for the
reflection paper are listed in the syllabus schedule.

2. Identity Collage: As part of our community building activities,
you will be responsible for designing a collage on a regular-sized
poser board, which describes who you are as an individual and as a
future professional. You may use photographs, magazine pictures,
quotes, etc., to design your collage. Information that you may want
to include, but are not limited to, in your collage: family history,
cultural background, unique characteristics, accomplishments, and
career goals. If you choose to bring in additional items (e.g.
favorite book or instrument), which will not fit on your poser, you
are welcome to do so. In class, on September 9, you will present your
collage (and additional items if you have them) to the class.

3. Midterm Examination: There is a require midterm examination on
October 16. Questions will be comprised of reading material, videos,
and course lecture. Exam format will be discussed in class at a later

4. Student Teacher Conference: There will be three days at the end of
the semester, November 18, 20, and 25, that will be dedicated to each
student conducting a parent-teacher conference. You will be graded on
this assignment based on your ability to implement the skills and
techniques to work with parents as discussed in “Kottler & Kottler”
Ch. 6. We will discuss these skills in more detail prior to the in-
class activity.

5. Philosophy of Communication Paper: This paper is the final project
of this course. The purpose of this paper is to develop your own
philosophy of communication. In this paper, you are asked to
critically think about communication, the reading we have discussed
in class and synthesize these ideas into your own beliefs. This paper
is to be 7-8 pages double-spaced with at-least 5 sources. You will
turn this paper in on December 2nd.

Date Topic Reading and Assignment Due:
09/02 Orientation ----

09/04 Community Building ----

09/09 Community Building
Collage Due

09/11  The Classroom Community
Ch. 1 & 2

09/16 Challenges Facing Teachers
Video: The First Year

09/18 Video Continued: Reflection Paper #1 Due

09/23 Attending Skills Kottler & Kottler, Ch. 4

09/25 Questioning

09/30 Paraphrasing & Reflecting Reflection Paper #2 Due

10/02 Philosophy of Communication Reading TBA

10/07 Groups/Conflict in the Classroom Kottler & Kottler Ch. 5

10/09 Problem Solving Reflection Paper #3 Due

10/14 Midterm Review Bring Questions for Review

10/16 Midterm

10/21 Introduction to Diversity

10/23 Race TBA

10/28 Gender TBA
Reflection Paper #4 Due

10/30 Sexual Orientation
Video: It’s Elementary NASP “Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Students….”

11/04 Mental and Physical Disabilities Kottler & Kottler, Ch. 3
Reading TBA
Reflection Paper #5 Due

11/06 Consulting with other Kottler & Kottler, Ch. 7

11/11 Communicating with Parents Kottler & Kottler, Ch. 6

11/13 Parent Teacher Conferences

11/18 Parent Teacher Conference

11/20 Parent Teacher Conference

11/25 Parent Teacher Conference

11/27 No Class: Enjoy the break

12/2 Philosophy of Communication Philosophy of Communication Papers

12/4 Class wrap-up and evaluations