Teaching A Survival Guide For Students And New Teachers Part 5 Advanced
Body Language

Teaching A Survival Guide For Students And New Teachers Part 5 Advanced Body Language

It is​ most important to​ keep your thumbs and​ hands visible when talking to​ a​ class. Practice holding your hands out with the​ thumbs pointing upwards until you can do it​ naturally. This is​ a​ very powerful dominance gesture, although it​ is​ one which does not come naturally to​ everyone.

If you find this is​ too difficult to​ do naturally, then try holding your hands at​ your sides, slightly curled, with the​ thumbs visible. This has less effect but is​ still powerful.

Hand movements should be calm and​ slow.
When you are having to​ wait too long for​ silence try closing your eyes, while using the​ hand and​ thumb technique above, and​ counting visibly. the​ more observant children will “Shhh” the​ class for​ you.

It is​ a​ good idea to​ have a​ “hot spot” where you always stand to​ tell the​ children off. After a​ very short time the​ children will become quiet as​ soon as​ you go there. the​ “hot spot” should be reserved for​ this purpose.

These techniques are taken as​ evidence of​ self-confidence by the​ children.
It is​ essential that you expect good behaviour at​ all times. Your expectations comes across in​ your subconscious body language. if​ you do not expect good behaviour then you will never meet it.

You can use body language and​ careful speech patterns to​ defuse many situations. it​ is​ always better to​ avoid confrontation wherever possible without losing face. it​ is​ important that you allow children to​ avoid losing face too. a​ child will often back down if​ they can do so without friends seeing it. This is​ why taking a​ child outside the​ room for​ a​ few words usually works much better than shouting at​ him or​ her in​ the​ class.

If you have the​ time, then wait until the​ class has gone, sit down and​ talk to​ the​ errant child, perhaps with a​ desk between you while s/he is​ standing. This removes the​ need that the​ child has to​ look “cool” by slouching, because you are looking more “cool” by sitting down. the​ child sees you as​ confident and​ in​ control. it​ means that you do not have to​ tell him or​ her off for​ bad posture and​ keeps the​ two of​ you a​ safe distance apart, reducing the​ likelihood of​ a​ flare-up. the​ worst that can happen is​ that the​ child storms off, and​ that can be dealt with on a​ later occasion, perhaps by a​ senior colleague

A few experienced teachers may be scathing about the​ use of​ body language in​ class control, even though they subconsciously use it​ themselves. You should be cautious in​ discussing body language with colleagues because there will be some malicious teachers who will tell the​ children about the​ “hot spot” or​ “raised thumbs” techniques. Once the​ children are aware of​ what you are doing the​ techniques become much less effective.

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