Albert Mehrabian at the psychology department of the University of California proved in the 1960s that 55% of all communication is body language. There may have been some debate about the exact figure since then, but one thing is for certain: body language is key to effective communication and is particularly important in teaching. Where our words make up a mere 7% of communication, body language makes over a half.

Of course, to teach effectively excellent communication skills are an absolute must. Thankfully, good body language can help us achieve and maintain those good communication skills.

There are many ways body language can help with tefraching, of which perhaps the most important is to create an approachable—friendly, if you will—image that makes students feel more comfortable communicating with their teacher. There are many keys to creating body language. Here I should like to offer insight into some of the most important. But before getting to that, a word of warning:

Unfriendly Body Language can Effect Even the Friendliest of People

Body language is problematically ambiguous to a degree that, at times, it can make a staple-gun seem like a rocket launcher.  The same gesture may have many different interpretations, some of which will be detrimental to a teacher’s image. Consider for instance the simple body language gesture of scratching the nose. This could have many different interpretations, ranging from lying to having bad hygiene to, of course, just having an itch. Likewise, a seemingly unthreatening body language gesture might appear aggressive to some people.   … Read More