The Teacher Stare
This is the first of the 10 days of classroom management help for teachers! We are starting with a famous strategy that has been effective for centuries. Even the brightest of students shudder when they see…the teacher stare. (Insert daunting music here.)
You will see throughout our posts that we focus on creating a positive classroom environment and a culture of high expectations. We want you to love your students.
When we talk about the teacher stare, this is not an ugly look to a student. It a look that says, “I mean business. Get it together.” The teacher stare can actually help a student by correcting them without making a scene.
So here’s how it works. And yes, it helps to practice it in the mirror. Just don’t freak out your own children.
Lift your eyebrows. Do not smile. Have a very straight, serious face. And stare them down. Do not break eye contact until you have clearly gotten your message across. You don’t even have to say anything. Silence makes it even better. You can even cross your arms for the full effect. Now, don’t squint your eyes. That makes you look mean. Keep them wide open. Also, don’t force a student to look you in the eyes during the stare due to cultural norms.
Usually when you do this, if you stop what you are doing, just for a moment, the class will stop what they are doing and try to figure out what’s going on. Use the teacher stare sparingly, as you don’t want to lose the effectiveness.
Seasoned teachers, this is not new for you. But, do you remember those first few months of school as a new teacher? Yeah. I should have practiced my teacher stare beforehand.
P.S. - Share this post with educators only. We don't want to give the whole world the secret to the teacher stare! ha!
Here are our teacher stares! It was a bit hard to take these pictures without laughing.
Susan Dewees, Ed.D. is an administrator at a large middle school. She also served as a Turnaround Team Coordinator for a public school district in Louisiana. She has 20 years of experience in public school education, and special education is one of her specialties.
Erin Stokes, Ed.D. is a Title I Instructional Coordinator for a public school district in Louisiana. She has over 10 years of experience as a teacher and instructional coach. She is also an adjuct professor at Louisiana College. She loves students, teachers, and most of all--learning.
Becky Pippen, Ed.D. is currently serving as principal of a large middle school in Louisiana. She has over 20 years experience in educational leadership. She is passionate about improving the teacher workforce so that all students have the quality of instruction they deserve.