New Teacher Advocate KDP New Teacher Advocate Summer 2017 : Page 3 around the entire classroom as you teach offers a more lasting solution. Do not feel tethered to the whiteboard. Engage all students in the room, making instruction personal and interactive. 3. Gestures and Secret Signals: Do not underestimate the effectiveness of putting your pointer fingers to your lips for a brief, silent shhhhh gesture. Pairing it with focused eye contact directed toward a talkative student indicates that the chatting needs to stop, while allowing you to continue whole-class instruction. Other common gestures that can serve a similar purpose include holding up one finger to indicate “wait” or a well-deserved thumbs-up for positive recognition. A related technique is the secret signal. Some students may be especially unreceptive to a public correction of behavior. Instead, mutu-ally agree on a secret signal that you will use to inform the student, and only that student, when certain actions are getting out of control (Medea, 2013). For that individual, rubbing your nose indicates that he needs to get back to work, but to everyone else, it looks like you are recovering from the sniffles. 4. The Look: The look—more affectionately known as the stink eye—happens when you momentarily stop what you are doing to give a sharp, disapproving glance directly at the guilty party. There is a certain Goldilocks mentality involved with giving the look: Do it too briefly and your efforts go ignored; do it too long and you risk losing the focus of your lesson. Finding out what it means to do it just right comes with time and experience. Nonverbal interventions cannot solve every be-havior problem. They are designed for relatively minor situations that enable you to carry on with instruction. Chronic disruptions or issues of safety require a firmer, more direct approach. As you become familiar with different techniques, you will learn which intervention from your teaching toolbox works best for each particular behavior issue. References Christofferson, M., & Sullivan, A. L. (2015). Preservice teachers’ classroom management training: A survey of self-reported training experiences, content cover-age, and preparedness. Psychology in the Schools, JOINKDP Benefits of Membership Include: • Honor of being associated with a 105-year-old prestigious network of educators • Face-to-face and virtual networking with peers and veteran teachers • 24/7 access to tips, webinars, For details visit and other resources designed for new teachers • Discounted professional liability insurance • Career Center and Job Search Summit • Classroom Teacher Grants that help cover various expenses Teachers are stronger together. 52 (3), 248–264. Hall, R. V., & Hall, M. L. (1998). How to use planned ignor-ing (extinction ; 2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed. Medea, A. (2013). Safe within these walls: De-escalating school situations before they become crises. North Mankato, MN: Capstone Classroom. Resources • Planned ignoring • Proximity control • Secret signals blog and podcast • Managing hyperactivity with minimal interventions Dr. Mehrenberg is an As-sociate Professor of Special Education at Millersville University. He taught at the K–12 level for 14 years and is National Board Certified as an Exceptional Needs Specialist. His research interests include classroom management, co-teaching, and needs of beginning teachers. KDP New Teacher Advocate • Summer 2017 • 3

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