Classroom Presence

Whatever their personal style, all teachers are performers and the classroom is their stage. But success can depend on the kind of show they put on. Kerra Maddern reports.

Why do some teachers struggle to control a class while others manage to get a lesson flowing seamlessly with apparently little effort?

It could simply be down to the "presence" they have in the classroom. This is a vague term, but learning how to have presence, or build on what you already possess, could create a more harmonious and effective classroom and strengthen your relationship with your pupils. Broadly, the word means being able to use your personality and body to command attention.

Teachers are not actors and developing more presence is not about trying to transform yourself into a Hollywood star. But, as public speakers and communicators, they will be more successful if pupils find their lessons memorable and they have good interpersonal skills.

Guy Michaels, an actor-turned-teacher who now runs courses for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) on how to create classroom presence, says: "Nerves can prevent teachers from communicating effectively...Teachers should grow comfortable with using stillness and silence as part of their repertoire. "Many teachers say 'I'm not a performer', but they have an audience of 30 people waiting to be entertained," says Mr Michaels. Read the full article here.

You can find out more about our Classroom Presence course run by Guy Michaels and David Windle by visiting our Classroom Presence course page.