Where do you stand on this issue?
Where and how you decide to plonk yourself during a lesson has a big influence on children. Your position sends out a message to them about your role in the lesson and what they should be doing.
Positioning is part and parcel of the job and a key factor in successful classroom management. Our non-verbal behaviour dictates the energy of the class so where we stand sends powerful messages.
Do you stand near your furniture and use your desk like a comfort blanket?
Or do you have so little space in your classroom that you can’t swing a cat?
Space is a luxury and we need to use it to our advantage. Many teachers decide to have particular spots in their teaching space that are always used for specific purposes.
Intentional positioning helps children get to know what is expected of them and they associate particular positions with certain activities. For example, there might be certain spaces where you stand for:
- presenting information and teaching
- getting attention
- clarifying language and giving instructions
- asking questions
- making announcements
You might feel that adopting certain teaching positions is a waste of time but they can and do work. Hyper-active teachers moving around all the time are doing themselves or children no favours. You need to assume a position for key tasks.
Forget sitting at your desk – this is a huge barrier to learning – ‘authority’ furniture has no place in a classroom so ditch the desk completely. If you want to sit then sit with the children but circulate and ‘network’.
How you move around in the classroom can have a greater impact on children than you might realise and so does where you stand for specific purposes. Positioning for presence helps you manage your classroom effectively.
Remember, where you stand determines what you see. Where you stand also determines what learning takes place. If you stand mostly at the front of the class then this gives the impression you know it all – you don’t. The front of the class is also the place where you lose half the class.