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How Your Nonverbals Impact Your Teaching


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Listen to my interview with Jack Shrawder (transcript):

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that most of you didn’t get much training in nonverbal communication — the things you do with your voice, your posture, your pacing, your eye contact — while learning to become a teacher. Okay, I take that back: maybe you had to take a speech communication class, but didn’t everyone? Was there anything specifically targeting how you present yourself in the classroom?

Now, if you’re a college professor, especially an adjunct, you probably had less teacher training than most. That’s where my guest on podcast episode 12 comes in. Jack Shrawder is the Executive Director of Teaching for Success, an organization whose mission is to help adjunct faculty hone their teaching skills.

John Shrawder, Executive Director of Teaching for Success

Jack Shrawder

In this episode, Jack and I talked about the things teachers do nonverbally that reduce their effectiveness in the classroom. Then we talked about the things they can do to have the opposite effect: the ways you can adjust your voice, posture and other nonverbals to give yourself more presence and confidence in the classroom. Those ideas are summarized in the image below, but more details are waiting in the podcast. I definitely learned something; I hope you do too!


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  1. luv all your stuff! Great tips!

  2. Michelle Townsley says:

    Sometimes I feel empowered reading your posts and other times I feel defeated. So much to think about as a teacher. It’s overwhelming. Thanks for the post on Resilience and the interview with Elena Aguilar. That was the first time I listened to the podcast! I normally just read the posts. I loved the interview.

  3. Norman says:

    Great to hear ideasto help adjuncts!

  4. Kees Van Niekerk says:

    Hi, I am interested in your resources. This year I will be teaching classes from Prep to Grade 8 in a Prep to Year 12 school. Keep up the good work, Kees

  5. Milad says:

    You rock! I praise all the effort and time you put in. Keep at it!

  6. Rossana says:

    Wonderful tools and techniques that I am already applying in the classroom…very effective to my college students!

  7. Megan Pietruszewski says:

    Great interview, this is helpful information! I’m having trouble accessing the links. Is anyone else able to click and view these links?

    • Katrice Quitter says:

      Thanks for letting us know about the broken links. We will work on getting these fixed.

  8. Rütsche Paul says:

    Can I reach John (Jack) Shrawder through this email?
    Thank you for any further information.

    • Hi there! This is a pretty old post and unfortunately, we’ve lost contact with Jack. We’re really sorry about this, but if we do come across something, we’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, maybe someone else will see this and have updates to share.

  9. Cleo says:

    I really question why you chose a male model for your drawing. Men already command authority from their students. Plus, you’re suggesting the model for this notion should be by default male. Perhaps you’ve bought into that assumption yourself.

    • Hi Cleo ~ Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It has been pointed out to me that this post in general is Euro- and male-centric, and I have plans to do an updated version at some point that is broader in terms of gender and encompasses a wider range of cultures.

      • bob says:

        really excited to see the update, also happy and totally not surprised that you are willing to hear and respond to the feedback!

  10. Ngozi Perpetua Osuchukwu says:

    This is really helpful.

    Thank you so much for these efforts.

  11. Vanja Pejanovic says:

    This is really helpful!

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