A Journey into the Teaching Experience

A site maintained by teachers for teachers

Body Language in Class



Body Language is a way of conveying our feelings, thoughts, and emotions… just from the way we act. Most often it reveals, thus being more effective, more than any kinds of words can. It can also be considered as a form of classroom management, a form of communicating and maintaining discipline in class.

Compared to speaking, body language, have a much larger impact on students, and it effects a lot other people judgements. In a class the teacher body language can convey 2 things:

  1. Taking out space and show the students that you are powerful and confident. We open up the most and take space when we feel the most powerful.
  2. Being small and conveying weakness and less of control. When we feel powerless, we usually close up.

Surely the first is the ideal one; as it shows discipline and students respect you more! There should be a psychical and psychological closeness with the students, by making eye contact and smiling, using a warm tone and lean forward. Body language, as Amy Cuddy stated in her TEM and also I found some information in this PowerPoint, involves the body posture, your position in the classroom and your facial expression.

Amy cuddy states how our body can change our mind, and some people try to appear what in reality aren`t: “Fake it till you make it”. We as teachers, from the student’s body language should be able to determine their emotions and predict any behaviour. It is about taking space and opening out. In non-verbal communication we do not mirror ones actions but usually we do the opposite, that’s why showing that you are powerful leads the students to be more behaved and respect you more. Every student has his/her different method and sometimes it is related to gender, boys tend to be more powerful. Our non-verbal governs how people think and feel about us but not only, have they governed how we feel and think about ourselves!

The question Amy asks is: “Can power posing for a few minutes, change your life in meaningful way?” and I think it is worthy to stop and think a bit about it….



2 comments on “Body Language in Class

  1. Seriously Virtual
    November 13, 2013

    There is something which I would like to add to this… I think that just as the teacher can gather much from the body language of the students, so can the students gather as much from the body language of the teacher. A teacher who is enthusiastic and passionate about her subject will show it in the way she speaks, moves and gestures. A teacher going into the classroom, with an attitude which shows reluctance, not wanting to be anywhere near that class, will exude boredom or even fear or frustration, from every pore in her body and the students will feel it. Most frequently they will react accordingly and in every probability that teacher will find that she will have chaos in the classroom. A love for the subject and a love for the teaching profession, doesn’t always mean that the teacher gets to pour into the students’ brains every syllable that is contained in the MATSEC syllabus. You have to find the right balance, – all for the good of the people right in class with you.

  2. thenarnianx
    November 19, 2013

    Body language is quite important in classroom, especially since the students will be constantly looking at the teacher. Certain bodypostures may lead the students to beleive that the teacher is not interested. Similarily the tecaher may learn what the students reaction towards the lesson is since they would be in dfferent positions if they were say bored and interested.

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This entry was posted on November 12, 2013 by in challenges, reflection.
Bryan Alexander

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