Find out about six nonverbal methods a teacher can use to project an aura of control so you can improve your classroom management.
As a teacher, it is important to be aware of all potential behavioral triggers in your classroom. That is because problems, arguments, and disruptions don’t just happen – something causes them. One of the best ways to prevent and avoid these triggers is by projecting an aura of control. If you give the impression that nothing escapes your attention and that you have a concrete hold over any situation, few students will risk testing you.
Achieving this aura of control is critical. The way you look, the way you move, the way you use and hold your body have a profound effect on those around you and those with whom you come into contact. It gives a clear, sometimes subconscious, message to others as to how you’re feeling.
For instance, in times of stress, we tend to display some gestures such as rubbing our necks or clenching our fists. While quite natural and usually performed subconsciously, these actions clearly indicate you are no longer in control. Mastering our body language is, therefore, very important to show that we are in control.
Non-verbal Cues to Project Control in the Classroom
1. Move Around the Room
Moving around the room not only keeps students on their guard, not giving them a chance to hatch secret plans in corners of the classroom but also gives a subtle, powerful message that you are in control of the whole room. Proximity leads to better classroom management and student engagement.
2. Use Your Body Language
Students are experts at noticing when our limits are being reached, and some will take advantage of a teacher if they think she is “losing” it. Teachers need to be aware of their postures and avoid anything perceived as threatening or overly aggressive.
3. Use Eye Contact
A few seconds of eye contact can trigger powerful feelings, whether you’re showing your pleasure through praise or your displeasure through strict instruction. Eye contact is essential if the real meaning behind those words is to be conveyed effectively.
4. Have Eyes in the Back of Your Head
Teachers need to be aware of what’s going on in all parts of the classroom at all times. If any students are off-task or fooling around, the behavior needs to get snuffed out right away to send a clear message that what they did won’t be tolerated. Students are more apt to stay on task if they know you are aware of what they are doing at all times.
5. Make Transitions Tight
Smooth and effective transitions are one of the most important techniques in maintaining student involvement and class control. Failure to gain students’ attention by giving unclear and confusing directions, using lengthy explanations, and allowing students to take too much time between tasks contributes to student misbehavior.
6. Maintain Students’ Interest
When students experience boredom, bad behavior starts to emerge. Variety reduces and alleviates boredom. Reduce boredom by providing students with a feeling of progress, offering them challenges throughout the lesson, and being enthusiastic.
By employing the above nonverbal cues in your classroom, you will quickly notice a positive change in your students’ behavior. Our body language is more powerful than the words we speak, so remember that you are trying to get control of your class that you don’t have to raise your voice. Utilize these six steps.