“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” ~ Peter Ferdinand Drucker
Lower the volume on your television. What do your eyes hear?
When you look in the mirror you see your reflection but what do you feel? Your presence, phenotype, and beliefs all have energy, and your personalised transmission is universally communicated. It is a portent of what’s to come. It is yours. Your communication currency is deposited in the classroom. What will your scholars feel?
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you, worry that they are always watching you.” ~ Robert Fulghum
Children are vibrational. They easily receive and sense your aura, your atmosphere and your majesty. Children see the ‘you’ in you. Yes, your rules expressed through movement and manners are conversational. What language does your body speak while standing still, as verbs, in tone? Are your non-verbal clues projecting warmth, enthusiasm, compassion and openness? Do you encourage participation? Do you acknowledge students when they speak, raise hands or lower eyes? These are the questions you must answer, ask and share with yourself before you and your students enter the classroom.
Can you read your students’ body language? Can you see, ‘I need help’, or ‘I am bored’ in your students? We have the ability to reassure, acknowledge, empower, distance and/or encourage. With the raise of a brow, nod, or looks, we can create positive pacing pathways in the classroom. Nonverbal messages are genuine.
Nonverbal signals can convey confidence, attention or incongruity. Gestures may be loud or soft and their messages are transparent. As educators, we must be in tune with our nonverbal classroom communication. This will help us to be both great emitters and receivers of our own and our scholars’ messages.
“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
As teachers, we are tasked with a multiplicity of demands. At times, these demands can impact our health. Yet, we are intuitive. We know that our body language can express good health, peace, reassurance, fairness, friendliness, patience, our axiology and determination. Before we give our very best to our students, we must impart this to ourselves. We are able to give our best, once we accomplish balance. Fluidity of motions and a positive outlook are tantamount. How do we want to be remembered? What adjectives will students use to describe their learning space in which you guide? Are you well groomed? Is your hygiene in good order? Are your teeth, nose, ears, hair and fingernails clean? Is your workspace welcoming? All of this contributes to your atmosphere and the transmission of your body language.
At 90, the honourable master-educator, Dr. Adelaide Louvenia Hines Sanford, Regent-at-Large, New York State Board of Regents said,“How we feel about ourselves and each other is paramount. Before you teach science, math or reading, you teach who you are. The children see you. They see your size, your shape, your colour, your contours and how you accept and handle yourself. They don’t care about what you know – until they know that you care. Once they know that you care, then you may, become their model.”
Your scholars need for you to affirm them and bring your best. I am very con dent that you will, and in so doing, your students shall listen, learn, share, enjoy and thrive.
By Lisa Fatimah
As an Orton-Gillingham trained Learning Specialist, Lisa-Fátimah specialises in designing multisensory English and Spanish language development lessons, modi cations and assessments for traditional and Dyslexic students. Her radio shows highlight the primacy of girls’ education, bilingualism and world language acquisition for a global audience. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.