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Developing my teacher 'presence'

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lucywag, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. This is a bit of a strange question, but I'm desperate to know...
    I am an NQT and just had my first term's review meeting which said that they have recommended I pass so all is ok. (Big relief, wine opened already!!)
    Behvaiour management with my low ability literacy group is a target that I am working on but the headteacher gave me a grilling about my 'teacher presence.'
    How can I develop it? How can it be measured? How long does it take before I have 'it?' I know what it is (sort of!) but it's all very elusive and mysterious and I'm not sure what to do next!!
    Any ideas/tips?
  2. Its not all about the obviuos things such as shouting - some of the best teachers very rarely raise their voice.
    Its more to do with where you are in the room, its about how you use your voice, its about how determined you are.
    Move around the classroom and challenge behaviour that you see as not wanted. The majority of kids will value you for that. They need you to be 'in charge'.
    Look at your school's behavioural policy and use it - set up your classroom rules for respect and learning. Get the kids to help you set the rules. Don't be their friend but be a trusted adult.
    Moving around more keeps behaviour manageable and gives pupils trust in you.
  3. char2505

    char2505 New commenter

    Quite hard to define! I think a lot of it is to do with confidence and also not having to think about your responses to situations e.g. behaviour issues, and thus coming across as firm and decisive.
  4. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    A lot of it is your reputation. For instance, last week I supplied in a class with a lot of younger brothers and sisters of my last year's class (who I made work in silence a lot!!) - they were like lambs! I hardly needed to raise an eyebrow!
    This morning, I supplied in a class who hardly know me at all. They were more of a challenge to handle. Just nod and smile sagely - your 'teacher presence'w ill develop, the longer you are ina school, and then it will redevelop again, the next school you are in. [​IMG]
  5. shenshah

    shenshah New commenter

    Hi, i have given training on this before. I would strongly recommend moving round the classroom like a lion moves around its territory...move round, slow, comment on their work, praise and criticise...I've often said things like "welcome to my learning zone"..insist on sitting up straight and keeping hands still and the little things like that. Good luck :)
  6. MizUnderstood

    MizUnderstood New commenter

    As a current trainee we were recently told the 'teacher presence' is about the children being aware of the high expectations that you have for them in terms of behaviour etc, so for example if you were leaving a group to work independently you'd say something like "I am just going to help the Triangles for a few minutes, I expect you to work hard and be sensible, when I come back to you I expect you to have answered at least 4 questions"....and it works! My class wouldn't dare not do as asked when you 'leave' your presence with them.
  7. This makes sense....at the moment I feel like I have to think about everything I say, especially when 'telling off' children. It makes me really self conscious for some reason. But I am trying really hard ;-)
  8. char2505

    char2505 New commenter

    It's your first year! Sounds like you are doing well anyway, so don't be hard on yourself. It is like anything where the more practices you are at responding to the children the more naturally it will come. Believe me, in time you will be spouting off the telling off cliches like nobody's business! And if in doubt, just work the 'shaking head with anger and disappointment' face until you think what you want to say!
  9. Good advice thank you.
    Thinking about it, I do always feel a bit squeezed for time and perhaps my anxieties about being last in for assembly and everyone waiting for me and my class are showing!!
    From this week on, it's a new improved me...!!

  10. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    That is one of my major worries as well...and this is my 16th year of teaching!

    We have one teacher who is almost always last in and yet still comes in calmly and without any hint of embarrassment, I so want to be like her!
  11. Low pitched voices tend to carry more authority and gravitas, but unfortunately, when they are stressed, most people's voices tend to go up in pitch. Taking a deep breath and keeping the pitch low can help to provide 'presence' and give the impression that you are not rattled, even if you are.
  12. Teacher presence can be summed up in three words -
    confidence, confidence, confidence
    As they say - fake it til you make it!
    Teaching is just another form of acting - you pretned to be confident when you walk into a class of unknown children on the first day of a new class/job - when taking whole school assembly, when the lesson is a disaster because IWB / visualiser or what ever has let you down and you need to change your plan at the last minute.
    You will have teacher presence when the children believe that you are in charge and will sort out the problem what ever it is. That's not to say that inside you are not a jibbering wreck - chn just don't see it!

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