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A Communication Opportunity Talk by Andrew Haaheim

 - Nov 23, 2013
In his communication opportunity talk, Andrew Haaheim recounts an unlikely scenario in his teaching career that allowed him to better his relationship with a student.

Haaheim notes that being an educator is often a difficult, seemingly never-ending barrage of snap judgement. One experience continually proves to be challenging and detrimental to the teacher-student relationship: cheating. The experience of cheating is humiliating for the student and destroys an educator's trust. Often, educators can only hope for a way to minimize the damage. However, Haaheim used the situation as an opportunity to communicate with a struggling student. Haaheim was able to look past the ‘what’ to the ‘who.’ The result was one of growth in their relationship and improvement in the students academic performance.

Regardless of educational context, he advises individuals to look at difficult moments as possibilities for connection. He firmly believes that bridges can be built in unexpected places.