Circulate the Room

Break the Plane – The “plane” of your classroom is the imaginary line that runs the length of the room parallel to about 5ft from the board. Many teachers are hesitant to move past this imaginary barrier. Try to break the plane of your classroom within the first five minutes of every class to show students that you own the room and that it is normal for you to be anywhere you want in the class at any time. Breaking the plane shows that you move where you want as a product of your decisions about teaching rather than as a product of student behavior.

 

Move systematically – Move unpredictably around the room to exert accountability pressure on all students, and to exert pressure on students who pose the greatest challenges for you without revealing to them that they pose a challenge.

 

Position for power – Remain facing the class as much as possible so that you can see what’s going on in the class. Turning your back on students invites opportunistic behavior. The most powerful position to be in with another person is one where you can see him, he knows you can see him, and he can’t see you. This builds a subtle but strong control of the classroom environment in order to focus it on learning.