Gillian Harvey explains how positive body language has helped her gain control in the classroom in her nine years' experience as a teacher.
As a newly qualified teacher at the age of 22, I found myself in front of a class made up almost entirely of 16-year-old boys, most of whom seemed twice my size and whom you might describe as ‘reluctant learners.’
At a diminutive 5 foot 2 inches, and with more than my fair share of timidity, it was clear I was going to have to think outside the box to ensure I had sufficient classroom presence. After some time, I found the answers lay less in shouting threats until I was hoarse, and more through appearing as though I was completely in control.
Rather than jumping out of the window, or hiding under the desk (and believe me, there were moments when I was tempted to do both), I did some research on ways to appear calm and in charge, when at times I felt anything but.
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