Verbal & Non-Verbal Communications in the Classroom

Nonverbal communication is important to the management of your classroom.

Strong communication skills are important to the management of your classroom. You should brush up on your verbal and non-verbal communication skills to effectively show your students what appropriate classroom behavior means. The majority of your communication with your students is nonverbal. Strong verbal communication is significant as well, while you should show your students the rules and classroom lessons they need to know.

1 Behavior Charts

Behavior charts are an easy way to encourage appropriate classroom behavior because students can see how they are doing behavior-wise. A simple tracking method is to use numbers or colors to signify good and poor choices. For younger children, it will be especially easy for them to learn to associate the color red or the number 1 with poor behavior and the number 5 and color green with good behavior. When children are not following the rules, have them move their name or a clip down the chart, a concrete way to reinforce the classroom rules.

2 Body Language

Body language is important to the way students read you. For example, frequently crossing your arms can put students on the defensive and make it look as if you're closing your self off to communication. If you do not know what to do with your hands, try pressing your fingers against each other in front of your chest. Students are more likely to be receptive to your ideas if you have body language that is open to them. You also can utilize hand gestures to make a point. We all know what a finger to closed lips means or a wagging finger.

3 Eye Contact

Eye contact is another way to improve your nonverbal communication skills. When you look around your classroom, you secure the trust of your students while also getting their attention. In addition, if a student is acting up you can try the five second stare. The student should get the idea that the behavior is inappropriate when she notices your stare.

4 Clapping

Clapping is a quick way to get the attention of a classroom that is out of control. If you do not have time for a five second stare, loud claps should make your classroom stop acting out and pay attention. Simply clap your hands together several times loudly.

5 Time Out

Do not hesitate to tell students that they are going to have time out if they continue to act unruly. State loudly and clearly that the actions they are taking are making you send them to time out during recess. Follow through with your punishment to demonstrate that the students cannot get away with poor behavior.

6 Smile

Remember to smile when you are giving your students approval. If a student's behavior improves, say the word "yes" with a large smile on your face. You want your students to understand that you notice when they do something right, too.

7 Greetings

Remember to say "Good Morning" and "Good Bye" to your students on a daily basis. It not only helps to set a good tone for the day but also helps students learn to mirror polite behavior. Try to greet students by name. According to the TeacherVision website, which features tools and resources for educators, students who were personally greeted by their teachers also felt that those teachers cared about them personally. This belief helped motivate the students in the classroom.

Theresa Pickett has written since 2007. She graduated from Flagler College with a Bachelor of Arts in history and Vanderbilt University with a Master of Education in elementary education. As a certified teacher who earned the ETS Recognition of Excellence for Praxis II Elementary Education, she has been published in "Student Filmmakers Magazine" and "Model Life Magazine."