18/100: Reflecting on Penny Ur’s Teaching Tips – 15. Eye Contact

I'm over here! Look at me! Naomi's Photos
I’m over here! Look at me!
Naomi’s Photos

This is part fifteen of my blogging challenge.

As a veteran teacher it is easy to fall into the trap of doing things a certain way just because I’ve done them that way for years, without remembering the reason why. 

I’ve decided to set myself a blogging challenge – reflect on one tip from each of the 18 sections that compose Penny Ur’s latest book: “100 Teaching Tips”, so as to dust off old practices that may have remained unexamined for too long.

Tip Number 78: “Keep eye contact”

Dare I say “I told you so”?

Not just me, any teacher /counselor / specialist who works with teachers who have a student with a hearing loss in their classroom has said the same thing; many things that we are asking you to do for “our” student are good for everyone!

I completely agree that keeping eye contact with as many students as possible helps them focus on what you are saying. Focus on the teacher, in fact. And when teachers look at the students a lot they are more aware of the students reactions – are they baffled or completely “on board”?

Naturally not everything good for students with normal hearing is ideal for those who don’t hear as well. The author recommends sometimes speaking from the side of the classroom or even the back. As long as the student with a hearing loss is seated on a side row (so as to be able to swivel in the chair) and the teacher moves to a different spot and spends some time there (aka, not moving constantly), he /she  could deal with these options as well.

I love this tip!

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