Projecting a strong presence in the classroom is one of the biggest challenges a guest teacher faces. But it’s also one of the most important skills for a new teacher to learn if they want to be successful.
Having a strong personal presence, or charisma, is sometimes thought of as an innate ability that can’t be taught.
While it’s true that some people seem to be born with charisma, it’s not a skill that is impossible to learn. Practicing a few core tactics will go a long way toward giving you the classroom presence you’re seeking.
When you’re in the classroom, your presence is about creating a positive and engaging environment that allows students to thrive and learn. In other words, your presence can make or break the students’ learning experience.
Here are a few tips that will help you be a guest teacher who brings an engaging presence to every classroom you visit. Practicing these techniques and strategies will improve the way you connect with your students, and ultimately, how successful you will be as a teacher.
- Use voice variation: The inflection of your voice can command attention in a room. In every situation, there are different types of voices you can use to invoke different responses in your students.
- Use a firm voice. A firm voice does not mean yelling.It’s a voice that commands attention in the classroom. Think of deepening yourvoice and calmly stating your requirements. A deep voice shows you are groundedand authoritative.
- Use a quiet voice. A softer, comforting voice can show you care or want to help. It can also be an attention-getter because it’s unexpected.
- Use a steady, calm voice with an even pace. Not only will it project that you are in fact calm, it will help students to better understand you, especially during instruction.
- Use a rhythmic voice. If you have something important you want to share with your students, slow down and speak words carefully so students will remember what you say. A rhythmic voice accentuates what you’re saying.
- Check your body language: One of the most crucial factors in classroom presence is your body language. How are you standing? Before you start a lesson, think about how you want to stand. You want to stand tall, but remain relaxed.
- While speaking, don’t stand in one place. Walking around the room while you’re teaching will help keep students attentive and engaged.
- Remember to smile. Smiling helps connect you tothe students, which is incredibly important.
- Make eye contact. The power of moving your eyes around the room from student to student cannot be measured. It will greatly improve your classroom presence.
- Be passionate about what you’re saying. One way to keep students’ attention is to present the lesson as if you’re having fun with it. If you don’t have any enthusiasm for the lesson, neither will your students.
If you’re still concerned about your classroom presence, ask permission from the school district to sit in on a class with an experienced teacher. Take notes on what tactics have an impact, and how students react to the teacher’s different techniques.
And remember, just like any other skill, your classroom presence will improve with practice, time and experience.