The birth of the school system and the idea of teaching children reaches back for centuries. It implies that people felt the urge to discover the world around them. Teacher-Student relationship was always a fixed relationship concerning the roles of discussion. Back in our grandparents’ time it was an existing phenomenon that children who were not able to behave properly during a class were punished by the teacher by getting hits to their nails with a ruler or verbally regulating the child. It worked. These children were respectful towards teachers. Now this kind of direction in education does not fit the norms of pedagogical rules. The remaining method of teachers to take control over the students’ behavior in class are pieces of nonverbal communication and carefully selected verbal warnings. In this paper I want to discover and argue with some basic ideas of how to keep up the students’ attention with different kinds of nonverbal acts, then how the changes of teachers tone of voice affects students and at last but not least what nonverbal acts can help them to boost their effectiveness in teaching.
As John Henrik Clarke said ‘A good teacher,like a good entertainer first must hold his audience’s attention,then he can teach his lesson.’ ( ‘John Henrik Clarke Quotes.’)
Keeping students’ attention is one of the very hard parts of teachers’ everyday challenges. There are some ideas which can help teachers to make their students paying attention. For example, however starting a class with a seated position may express and create a welcoming atmosphere, the advice is do not sit during the whole class because it may imply lack of motivation. It can be true that during the lesson at some point it is worth to change your position because if the children looking at you and you move they follow your movements and thus they not just staring forward so this may help you to catch their attention more.Well, I think this is not always the case because if a teacher is into the subject he teaches and he can pass on his knowledge in a way that the lesson is interesting and his behavior is friendly but still carries authority but not extremely fearful it can be easy and the children’s attention would last until the very last minute of the class and it does not depend on the sitting position of the teacher.
One further tip is to bend down around pairs or teams during group work, showing that you are mobile and physically at the same level as the students. From my personal experience it is that if a teacher comes to us during a group work the whole process will stop. It is due to the presence of the educator the one who has started speaking stops it immediately or forgets what she wanted to tell. From these tips we can say that not every piece of nonverbal communication provide advantage to teachers.
According to Sidney Hook ‘Everyone who remembers his own education remembers teachers, not methods and techniques. The teacher is the heart of the educational system.’ (‘Sidney Hook Quotes.’)
For students a great part of their attitude towards the lesson can be connected to the teacher who taught it. A lot depends on the personality and the nonverbal communication the teacher uses and how he/she handles different kind of situations either the students are conscious about it or not.
There are some tips for the usage of tone of voice. For example find the balance between using nice,sugary voice and strict. I think this not always works because a lot depends on the receiver of the used voice and one may find it sugary but other may think that it is stern. The next tip is to use whispering to make your students quiet as well. I would agree with that as well because there are some not really great behaving children they could think that if the teacher is whispering it is not a thing which is important to hear. The last tip is to avoid using a tone which is flat. This can not be argued much but I think if the topic is interesting, the teacher can passes on his/her knowledge in a way which is enjoyable the voice is the last thing that can influence the children’s attention.
‘A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill love of learning.’ (Brad Henry)
There are also some tips which can help educators to boost their effectiveness during teaching.
1. Exaggeration. During a lecture in front of big audiences teachers should do bigger nonverbal movements, make their facial expression more intense and dramatic. I think it can also lead to questions about what does this teacher do and why he/she thinks that it can work and the audience do not think that it is just funny and not effective at all.
2. Eye talk. After doing these big and fancy movements teachers are also encouraged to talk by their eyes. Maintaining eye contact can help you to express the importance of some words or thoughts and concepts. Its all okay but things like eye contact require 2 person and if one of them is not willing to look at the other it will not work does not matter how hard the teacher tries.
3. Voice modulation. The last I want to display and argue with. It is said that if a teacher changes his/her voice by an out of nowhere shout or hand clapping then all the attention from the class will be gathered on you. Yes, it cease attention but it also causes a little shock, and children may become frightened for a second and thus they may not be able to concentrate on what is said after the extreme change of pitch.
I would like to support the idea for teachers to use nonverbal communication while teaching but there is a line which should not be crossed. Our communication merely consists of nonverbal communication but most of us can only understand basic and evident parts of it and if teachers try to keep attention or boost effectiveness by these the first step is to explain the existence and the importance of different part of nonverbal communication.
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