Non-verbal communication is rarely taught in teacher training programs. However, body language and the tone of your voice are major factors in communicating and thus teaching. A teacher can be declared boring by not varying the tone of their voice. During interviews, most principals look at the enthusiasm of a potential teacher. Enthusiasm is communicated by tone and body language. An enthusiastic teacher makes for enthusiastic students.
Your body language and tone of voice can be used in a positive or negative way. Only use them in a positive way. Here are some examples:
- Some positives include walking over to a student's desk and quietly asking the student to be quiet. You could even just walk near that student and stand there. This usually does the job without you having to say a word. This shows that you are calm and in control. It also reduces the risk of potential conflict. Another example would be to just look at the student, and when you have eye contact, shake your head no. Remember, the point is to not disrupt the other students. When you speak from across the room, other students will look at the student you are addressing. In many instances, students misbehave in order to get attention. By stopping what you were doing, you could have inadvertently rewarded that student's misbehavior.
- Have you ever seen a teacher trying to get a student's attention by yelling? The non-verbal communication is telling the students that the teacher is not in control and maybe does not know what they are doing. There is a simple and empowering way to get student's attention.
- Dressing up for work communicates non-verbally to your high school or middle school students that you are a professional and you take your job seriously. It is important to do this from day one because it is part of the first impressions. It is the same reason why most people dress up for job interviews.
- It is important to understand that the tone of your voice and body language can communicate just as much or more than the words you say.
* Disclaimer: Before implementing any ideas from this website, please first consult your principal to make sure they are in compliance with state laws, district and school procedures.