Strategies for Reshaping Practice: The habits of the classroom #5

Use body language

Teachers’ body language can communicate values and a perspective on a subject. Excitement is contagious and can be communicated both verbally and through the body, for example excitement over the wonders of magnetism. Similarly, talking to pupils while still marking work and not looking at them can communicate disrespect.

  • Teachers can work at showing respect through body language by making eye contact, turning to face children and joining in at their level with younger pupils.
  • Teachers can change their body language to suit the material they are teaching. For instance, when delivering a poem about a view from a window, stand in front of the window so that the pupils see the view as you speak.
Examples such as these show the difference body language can make. Sometimes a simple move, such as standing in front of a window, has impact.