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The Power of Proximity

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Rick Bunker

Joined: 07 Feb 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Bensalem, PA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject: The Power of Proximity Reply with quote

I have taught in classrooms with elementary children, junior high and senior high young adults, and with adult learners. Many of the schools where the teaching was taking place I was the Principal or Head Master and it would be somewhat ridiculous to send the students who were becoming distractions and disruptions to the class to the Principal’s Office. Having studied elementary education academically and practiced it clinically I knew many tried and true classroom management techniques that allowed for resolutions that were more beneficial and less disruptive than having a student leave the class. The student leaving would be missing out on the teaching and the rest of the class would be distracted at least momentarily while the teaching was interrupted to send the student out and probably for longer as they would be thinking and wondering about what was going on with the departed student. Even if dismissing the student was not the approach taken many teachers might ask the student to pay attention or stop what you are doing and this side dialogue is taking focus away from the subject which the teacher is trying to have everyone think about and study.
A very effective means of getting a student’s attention is to, while continuing to lecture and discuss, move closer to the student and perhaps make eye contact with the student. Calling casually on the student by name is another effective way to bring the student ‘into the class’ again as well. A good teacher is moving around the classroom continuously and a gentle touch of the desk or the shoulder evokes a powerfully noticeable positive effect on learners. The inappropriate behavior or inattentiveness is never verbally addressed but is more effectively addressed than if words were used; more effectively for the individual student and the entire class.

Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
Rick Bunker
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