What Does a Communications Teacher Do?

M. Kayo

The primary responsibilities of a communications teacher include introducing students to the many areas of mass media and communications methods while guiding individual students to find their particular place in this industry. Teaching students to write and communicate effectively for specific types of media, including web-based media, television, radio, advertising, and even public speaking is a big part of the job. English grammar and usage are vital tools used in all areas of communications and media. Introducing students to the various aspects of the latest media technology is also an important part of any communications curriculum.

Teaching students a working knowledge of the English language is essential for any communications teacher.
Teaching students a working knowledge of the English language is essential for any communications teacher.

Effective communication is one of the foundational types of coursework taught by a communications teacher. Various types of communication have different levels of overall effectivenes. For example, an e-mail is not likely to have the same effectiveness as a live speaker who is broadcast over some type of visual media, like television or Internet. A communications teacher may teach students the finer points of using specific methods of communication for specific types of media. Communications teachers help students to develop speaking abilities as well as competence in written communication for business, desktop publishing, and various types of media.

Communications students are introduced to the many areas of mass media and communications methods.
Communications students are introduced to the many areas of mass media and communications methods.

Teaching students to develop a working knowledge of the grammar and usage of the English language is critical for any communications teacher. Knowing all the technical aspects of media and communications is of no value unless students can handle the basics of language and grammar. For example, writing a press release for a major corporation may seem like a simple thing but improper grammar and even spelling errors may communicate the wrong message to the recipients of that release.

A communications teacher in the U.S. may work with students who are not native English speakers.
A communications teacher in the U.S. may work with students who are not native English speakers.

Media technology is a field in which technological advances and improvements are being made quickly, and one of the main responsibilities of a communications teacher is to make students aware of the ever-changing technology in the area of communications. A vital part of any communications curriculum is the introduction, operation, and maintenance of the various types of media technology. For example, a news camera operator must be aware of the specific functions and limits of the technology used in his camera. He must also be aware of the particular means by which his equipment connects to and communicate with other communications technology, like web phones, PC's, and editing equipment.

Typical work assigned by a communications teacher might include giving students a writing assignment for a local news broadcast, radio program, or advertisement. Experience can be gained from designing, building, and maintaining websites for certain clients or businesses. Desktop publishing assignments may be used to improve specific writing or communication skills, and a field trip to the local radio station may help students to observe the copy writing techniques, working styles, talent, and technology required to maintain operations in a certain market.

A communications teacher may teach students public-speaking skills.
A communications teacher may teach students public-speaking skills.

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