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3 Questions Students Are Asking Teachers in the Classroom

  1. Can I trust you?
  2. Do you care about me?
  3. Do you know what you are talking about?


Doug Fields & Matt McGill go on to say (formatting and emphasis added by teachers' lore): 

The first question is about a speaker's "ethos" or character. A listener has to believe a speaker is good and trustworthy ("ethical") before he/she will really listen to the message.


The second question refers to a speaker's "pathos" or empathy. A listener must not only believe the teacher is trustworthy, but also wants to make an emotional connection with the listener.


The third question is about a speaker's "logos" or logic. The content must be credible to be accepted.


Aristotle believed that the best communicators make attempts to answer all three questions a listener is "asking."


Take a moment and think about your favorite communicators. (1) Do you trust them? Does their life seem real? (2) Do you feel like they care about you when they speak? Do they communicate in such a way that you genuinely believe they care about your well-being? And, (3) Do they know what they are talking about? Does their content make sense and ring true?

It's been our experience that many youth workers unintentionally blow past the first two principles (ethos and pathos) and skip straight to the content.