Body Language and Behaviour Management: The Secret Key to a Happy Classroom. #PGCE #UkEdChat

An article by Richard James Rogers

How often do you find yourself grappling with challenging students in your teaching practice? Does your behaviour as a teacher serve to escalate, or alleviate, confrontations?

If you’re having problems with a particular student, or even a group of students, then you may wish to consider making subtle changes to your body language on a regular basis. Our mannerisms and actions serve to act as subliminal cues and primers for student responses and reactions, and experienced teachers will tell you that they capitalise on this to a great extent.


The following extracts come from my debut book, The Quick Guide to Classroom Management, and offer some easy-to-implement strategies for using subliminal cues that promote good student cooperation. I would welcome any comments on this, as there may be tactics that you use which are not mentioned here.



High School Science and Mathematics Teacher, Author and Blogger. Graduated from Bangor University with a BSc (Hons) degree in Molecular Biology and a PGCE in Secondary Science Education. Richard also holds the coveted Certificate in Mathematics from the Open University (UK). Richard is the award-winning author of The Quick Guide to Classroom Management: 45 Secrets That All High School Teachers Need to Know

4 thoughts on “Body Language and Behaviour Management: The Secret Key to a Happy Classroom. #PGCE #UkEdChat

    1. I didn’t for some reason think that was intended for high school or even middle school. Agreed proximity can be useful to help distracted students keep on task. I attended a full day conference on developing strategies for managing difficult student behaviour.. The blue card self monitoring blue card worked well. I would discuss with the student what area he/she would like to work on such as talking less and being on task more. The card was divided into three columns, with horizontal rows where dates were entered. The columns were, labeled “not” “some” and “most of the time”. The card was kept in the room and put on the corner of the desk at the beginning of the class. The student would check the appropriate column at the end of class and discuss with me how they were doing . Two things that worked well here – one was all I would have to do is walk by the student and quietly tap the card( that sure saved energy on my part) and the second was the student responded well as they liked the positive attention from the teacher and really tried in a positive way; Students began to recognize their behavior issues and did try to self monitor.

      1. Do you have suggestions for 14-18 year olds who snub classroom guidelines? My main one is them eating in class–desk picnics–“but I’m hungry!” A quick snack from their backpack seems reasonable but many students want to consume their entire lunch (bringing take out in class!). I run an English class not the cafeteria.

Leave a Reply