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Frequent Eye Contact

Frequent Eye Contact

Why should I do it:

  • Students respond immediately to teacher eye contact
  • Keeps students on their toes
  • Encourages students to be more attentive and focused
  • Provides off task, disruptive, inattentive, and other students with a non-verbal cue to stop what they are doing and get back on task
  • Is a subtle way to address behaviors and students without drawing a lot of attention
  • Saves time
  • Easy and quick to do

When should I do it:

  • When a student is misbehaving, off task, inattentive, talking out of turn, disrupting, not following classroom procedure, etc
  • When a student seems sleepy or tired
  • When a student seems to be plotting to do something behind your back
  • When students have a history of clowning around

How do I do it:

  • Many times, students naturally read teacher eye contact as a non-verbal cue to stop doing what they are doing and do what they should be
  • There are many ways to do this and it will be a matter of trial and error
    • You may look at a student without changing expressions until they look at you
    • You may look at a student until they look at you, then change your expression, such as raising your eyebrows, tilting your head, shaking your head “no” or “yes”, motioning with your eyes, etc
  • Try to make the action smooth, not stopping your instruction or task at hand to give the cue
  • If a student does not react right away, you may need to stop instruction and give the student a “look” again to make it more pronounced
  • You may consider speaking with a student in private, setting up a plan where when you give them a certain “look” or just look at them, they will do something or refocus, etc