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“The aim of good teaching is to have presence” The Role of Body Language in the Classroom.

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Presentation on theme: "“The aim of good teaching is to have presence” The Role of Body Language in the Classroom."— Presentation transcript:

1 “The aim of good teaching is to have presence” The Role of Body Language in the Classroom

2 There are many aspects that you can focus on: 1.Body language of the teacher a.To facilitate learning - are they engaging, interesting, motivating in their method of communication? b.To control behaviour - are they showing that they are the manager, in charge, key figure of authority in the classroom? 2. Body language of the student a.Are they interested and on task? b.What does their body language communicate about their progress?

3 When studying our videos of our own and other’s teaching it is important to focus on the way students and teachers communicate in the classroom. Our life in the classroom centres on our ability to, and ways in which, we communicate. Communication is: 1.Verbal – an issue to be covered in a subsequent session 2.Non-verbal: a.Gestures b. Facial expression c.Posture d.Appearance e.Use of hands

4 Understanding the non-verbal communication we give and receive from students improves teaching and learning. We can focus on different aspects of body language depending on whether we are looking at:  what the students body language communicates to us, or  what our body language communicates to the students. Body language of students:Body Language of Teachers: OpenStanceHands ClosedMovementEyes AttentiveExpressionLanguage BoredVoice

5 What are the students in your lessons communicating with their body language? Open Body Language – signals a change in feeling or thinking Arms and legs relaxed, not crossed Hands are open (not hiding anything) Face is directed at the person of interest Eye contact is good, moves away at times (so not perceived as a stare or confrontation) Closed Body Language – signals we are feeling threatened, we place a barrier, we need to be nurtured, we need to hide something, we are cold Arms folded or crossed Legs crossed Head is down and away

6 Bored Body Language – signals we would rather not be there, or that the material is uninteresting or irrelevant Looking anywhere but at the presenter Doodling Talking to others Staring Tapping toes Watching the clock Yawning, looking sleepy, slouching in seat Face is blank

7 Attentive Body Language – signals interest in the other person and the message is usually reciprocated (helpful for us as teachers to bear this in mind with our own body language) Ignoring distractions Stillness Leaning forward Tilting the head Gazing Furrowed brow Interest noises Open body = open mind

8 There are no hard and fast rules about what types of body language communicate what messages, these are all generalisations, (and students can cheat). Body language needs to be understood in the context of our own classrooms and our own students and styles. However, there are some aspects we can focus on to allow our communication in the classroom to have more impact: 1.Stance: face the class to show assertiveness, but keep your tone loose rather than rigid to indicate confidence and being relaxed. Keep your feet on the ground to show a firm attitude. 2.Movement: keep movements slow and considered, don’t dart around as it can communicate nervousness rather than confidence and control.

9 3. Expression: to ensure professionalism rather than trying to be over-friendly, keep a stable, relatively serious expression which communicates calm and control, but not immediate disapproval or antagonism. 4.voice: should be just above that required for normal conversation to keep interest, be clear and gain attention. Speak more slowly to convey control and confidence. 5.Hands: try to keep your hands measured and controlled. It can be easy to appear nervous, distracted and bored by fiddling and fidgeting. Gesturing is ok, as long as it is not too animated. Use a prop to keep your hands occupied if necessary.

10 6.Eyes: looking at the people you are talking to communicates confidence and interest, that you are focused on them and attentive towards them. Making eye contact is more subtle however, than staring someone out, which is confrontational. 7.Language: formal language with students communicates that a certain level of behaviour and professionalism is required; we are referring to communication in a classroom, not a nightclub or playground, in general street/slang/text speak can lower standards, whereas the use of formal language models higher standards required in written work. Exactly how you communicate and interpret body language in your classroom will depend on your nature and the nature of your students but the default should be: measured, respectful and controlled Final thought: What do students think?

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