What do teachers dislike about teaching?
Students don't like pale guys. But you don't need an entertainer to put on a class show either. Ideally, a person stands in front of you who signals through their physical presence: “Here I am. I like to teach, I have prepared myself well and stand calmly in front of you. "
Whoever steps in front of the class as a teacher always acts as a whole person. If voice, content and body language provide a congruent overall picture, not much can go wrong in class. Body language should not be underestimated; studies have repeatedly confirmed that a person's body language impresses us more than the content of their words. The American psychologist Laura Neumann and her team recently published a study on this. They showed, among other things, that we can use the physical signals of our fellow human beings with astonishing accuracy - with regard to some distinctive personality traits -
interpret. The well-known Hattie study, on the other hand, shifted the focus a few years ago to teachers as directors and present focus of teaching. Meanwhile there is talk of the "renaissance of the teacher personality" (Süddeutsche Zeitung). Conclusion: teachers should exude presence and security. But how does it work?
Everything starts with a secure footing
Body language in the narrower sense includes the stance, the movement of the arms or the gestures of the hands and the look. Good body language and a coherent appearance in front of the class start with a firm stance. This so-called “safe stance” is the pillar on which a trainee teacher can always rely. A good stand indicates attentive presence. Some trainers recommend finding a strength point in class that a teacher will return to over and over to refuel.
And this is what the secure footing looks like: Both feet stand next to each other, hip-ready and firmly on the floor. The knees are slightly relaxed and not pushed in. The back is kept straight and also not pushed down. In this position, the weight is evenly distributed between both feet.
That is the basic position. But in order not to have a static effect in the long run, you should occasionally let the weight rest more heavily on one leg (supporting leg). This frees the other leg (free leg) to move forwards, to the side or backwards. Calm steps in one direction or the other leave a confident impression.
Practice: The body memory plays a role
People who regularly practice Qigong - a Chinese form of concentration and movement - automatically adopt this secure stance in stressful situations. You draw serenity and calm from this position alone. If you want to practice standing consciously in everyday life, you can be inspired by visualizations. For example, the following two thought journeys are suitable:
- Imagine standing with your feet on the beach, exactly where water and sand merge and your body weight makes you sink easily into the damp sand. Nothing knocks you down.
- Imagine standing on soft forest floor. From the middle of the soles of the feet (the heart of the feet) fine roots sprout into the earth. They are well rooted.
Practicing just a few minutes a day has an inestimable advantage: The secure feeling of good standing is imprinted on the body's memory and, once saved, can be called up at any time.
Hands in front of the middle of the body
The secure stance finds its equivalent in the gesture. The positive area for any form of gesture is the center of the body and the area between the waistline and the chin. The movements of the arms should start from here and return to this center. It is helpful if teachers find a basic position for their hands, such as when both hands are open at the top and are on top of each other at belt height. Hiding your hands behind your back is a no-go.
If you like to cross your arms in front of your upper body, you can do this every now and then for convenience. In the long run, however, it is perceived as defensive. On the other hand, those who tend to clasp or fold their hands quickly become pastoral or instructive. It also makes it harder to underline the content of the words with gestures because the hands have to be separated first.
Eye contacts: Self-esteem increases
Friendly looks increase self-esteem. It is interesting that this realization applies not only to the one who is looked at, but also to the one who looks. Making eye contact (not staring) is therefore a good opportunity for prospective teachers to strengthen themselves and at the same time to signal: I see you, I perceive you.
The tip to smile often, on the other hand, can become a trap. An honest, open and spontaneous smile opens hearts. It is no different in class either. But smiling as a method is not recommended. That is, among other things. the fact that young people figure out every inconsistency. Lisa and Carlotta, for example - pupils in a high-performing class at a comprehensive school in Bonn that is very popular with trainee teachers - sometimes react annoyed. “We now know every tactic how to make yourself popular with us. Some are insecure and then smile all the time - especially the women - even when there is nothing to smile about, others tell jokes, mostly the men. When someone is a fun guy; okay, that'll fit. But if not, it's just embarrassing. "
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