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Commanding respect in the classroom


We all feel intimidated by a sea of faces in a lecture hall at some point in our lives, but here are some tips to help you overcome this!

  1. Make use of proper body language: Keep your shoulders back, head up, and look directly at students when speaking to them. If you look confident you will be confident.

  2. Do not rush: If you are rushing and scrambling to get through the work, it creates a negative, excitable energy. Work efficiently and gracefully.

  3. Make decisions and stick with them: Do not let the students argue or misbehave. Be in control. Make swift decisions and move on.

  4. Give a few seconds of silence before speaking: This will make sure all of your students pay attention and makes what you have to say seem more important.

  5. Do as you say: This is very important regarding your strategy to manage the class; students will respect this consistency above all else.

  6. Implement brevity: If you talk less, your words will carry more meaning. Do not talk on a specific subject for too long.

  7. Remain calm: People who portray control over their emotions are automatically more respected than those who do not. Remain cool in tense situations or confrontations.

  8. Do not just speak, listen: Give your students time to speak and do not interrupt them. They are there to contribute too, so respect what they have to say before you respond.

  9. Prepare ahead of time: An organized lecturer is respected so have a backup plan so that you are not caught off guard by something not working as expected.

  10. Be confident: Confidence is something that can be sensed by other individuals. Having confidence in your ability and knowledge will gain the respect of your students.

Compiled by Daniel Schoonderwoerd (Foundation for Professional Development) and edited by Liz Wolvaardt (AHPEL).

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