I love this tip that I came across on Fred Jones, Tools for Teaching site. Fred likens the classroom teacher to a performer or presenter. When someone in the audience appears to be causing a disruption, the presenter will sometimes circulate the audience and/or use eye contact to bring the disturber back to attention. All teachers know that it is essential to move around the classroom and not stay in one spot at the front. However, I think it is a useful tip to utilise nonverbal cues to attend to any disruption by moving closer and using eye contact which means that the lesson doesn’t have to be interrupted to attend to disrupters. It also avoids a confrontational situation and prevents any embarrassment being caused to the student.
Fred identifies three zones of proximity in the classroom:
Red: the teacher is physically close so students in that zone are less likely to disrupt.
Orange: students are aware of the teacher’s proximity and will on caution not to be caught whispering or doing anything out of line.
Green: when students are least close to the teacher’s proximity they are more likely to disrupt.
So, it definitely pays to keep circulating and changing the green areas to red alert.
Keep reading for more great classroom management tips!