“That’s him, he’s the one you need to see. He needs a special class”. The sixty something year old teacher points out the six year old sitting on the mat. The other children look and everyone hears her “quietly” cataloguing his sins as she makes her case for his removal from the class.
This scenario would play out in various forms over my 28 years as a behaviour teacher. I have heard of teachers struggling to manage students with complex issues. Teaching is a complex craft. Effective teachers can read the subtext of a situation and are able to adjust their communication style to maximise student outcomes. Many teachers take the “Don’t smile until Easter” advice of the past and miss opportunities to connect with students using humour and warmth.
Research Half a minute; predicting from non verbal behaviour suggests that a teacher’s non-verbal communication, especially facial expression is correlated to student outcomes. Firm and friendly wins each time.
Communicate to Engage is a course which explores the nuances of teacher communication by going back to basic principles. This could also be basic to principals.