Using body language in teaching: Positioning

Welcome back to my short blog series on the use of body language in teaching. In part one I discussed the importance of your hands and how a simple change can make a massive effect on your teaching. This method is just as easy to implement and is all about your positioning within your classroom.

Positioning within the room


No matter what school I have been into, during assembly time when the headmaster stands at the podium or on the stage at the front of the hall the students are silent. Why is this happening? Have the kids been told that when he stands there they have to be quiet. No. They have learnt themselves that when he stands there they need to be silent. This is all to do with positioning. When he stands there everybody knows that his assembly is about to start so they need to be quiet.

So why not apply this to your classroom? I urge you to have a spot in your classroom which you always stand on when giving specific instructions which the students need to listen to. It won’t happen immediately but eventually your students will learn that when you are standing on that spot it is time for them to listen very carefully. This is brilliant because you will not even need to raise your voice. All you will need to do is stand on that spot and the students will know what they need to do.

As to where this position is in your classroom is up to you to experiment with. Personally I have my spot near the door as if to say that if these instructions are not listened to then you will not be leaving on time. I am sure you will come up with your own spots which is fine. This is supposed to be very individual. My only advice is to ensure that there is very little obstructing you from the children. Also try and ensure it is a place where you don’t already go to give instructions regularly such as the whiteboard. By having a special point that you have to move into will make it all the more powerful.

I hope you have enjoyed reading part two of this mini series. In the final part I will discuss how to best deal with confrontation by simply changing your body language. Check back soon!

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