Thursday, July 07, 2011

Eye Contact

Shakespeare understood that the eyes are "the windows to the soul." The eyes are a specialized extension of the brain. Eye contact is critical in teaching. "Teachers who make eye contact open the flow of communication and convey interest, concern, warmth and credibility." 

Some tips for adult classes and small group teaching:
  • Talk to your students, not your Bible, your notes, the whiteboard, or the ceiling.
  • Good eye contact does not mean staring or gazing. Those are likely to make a person uncomfortable and lose their concentration -- and less likely to understand the material or participate in discussion.
  • Good eye contact is three to five seconds on a person if they are not speaking to you, and full attention when they are. (If they're making a comment to the group, you may not have to keep eye contact on them all the time.)
  • Don't flit your eyes around and try to hit everyone for 0.2 seconds. That's not meaningful and only reinforces any nervousness you already have!
  • Watch your students as well as listen to them. Look for signs of being bored or being lost.
  • Avoid focusing only on your "best" and "worst" students.
If you work at appropriate eye contact, you will find participation increases and your job as a teacher is easier. Eye contact is an avenue for changed lives!

What other suggestions do you have?  Comment below. 

No comments: