“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This was the question I …
We have and always will have the utmost respect for Teachers.
As Henry Brooks Adams says…
“A Teacher affects eternity, they can never tell where their influence stops.”
Without doubt teaching is one of the most rewarding and responsible positions that a person can hold. Teaching occurs in many different settings, for example, at school, in the workplace and at home. Any formal teaching or training also relies on support from others such as Parents, Line managers and Coaches to be fully effective.
NLP is about personal effectiveness and excellence in communication which are the lifeblood skills of those involved in educating people.
So NLP and the themes within this article are as applicable to Teachers, as they are to Parents, as they are to Line managers.
NLP puts forward a mindset called the presuppositions of NLP and these presuppositions allow someone to achieve the mindset that successful people use to achieve their potential.
Essentially, the way that we think will affect our behaviour and then the influence that we have on others. You will find the presuppositions represented slightly differently in various books yet they all amount to an empowering mindset.
By way of example, one of the presuppositions is ‘You cannot not communicate’.
This means that we are always communicating.
Everything that a teacher does in front of their students communicates something to them; by the words that are used, changes in facial expressions, posture, gestures, the way the room is arranged etc.
In fact saying nothing, actually says something.
In recognising, this we can examine and explore the finer details of our communication looking at the effect it has on us and others. With this new understanding, we can then look at the outcomes that we want to achieve from our communication and gain them more effectively.
How the teacher responds to disruptive behaviour in an individual will affect how the rest of the class react to them.
Pupil’s will generally model the behaviour of the teacher and if the teacher doesn’t show respect for an individual because they have different needs or their behaviour is challenging, then this can often be replicated by the pupil’s peer group.
Challenging behaviour can be dealt with effectively by using a technique called Perceptual Positions.
To do this, establish three different locations in the room.
The first location is where the student talks about the behaviour that they have carried out towards another person giving their reasons and what they hoped to achieve from it. Following this, move them to location 2 which is the position of the person subject to the behaviour.
The student now ‘becomes’ that person looking at how the behaviour has impacted on them talking back to location 1 as if the perpetrator was there.
Finally, move the student to location 3 which is the position of the Teacher or a bystander who has observed both sides; get the student to offer advice and guidance to both of the other parties.
Then move the student back to location 1 and ask them what they have learnt. This process usually gives them new insights to the effects/possible effects of their behaviour.
There are a number of ways that NLP can assist with the teaching process.
In NLP we acknowledge that everyone processes information through the five senses and that a person’s preferred representational system is the sense(s) that they prefer to use most often to do this.
Pupils whose preferred representational system is visual will usually excel at such tasks as spelling and times tables, as they will often store and access the information exactly as they saw it.
However, this is not always the case; even though someone may have a preferred representation system that is visual it does not necessarily mean that they are making sense of the information in the most effective way.
It is quite common for people who believe themselves to be ‘bad spellers’ to be reconstructing words each time they spell them, rather than accessing what they have previously seen to be correct.
Those who ‘sound out’ words in order to spell them and those using the ‘it just feels right’ technique are also making learning more difficult for themselves than it needs to be.
For those involved in the teaching process, it is a very easy process to read eye accessing cues during everyday conversation and this is a technique which is taught on the NLP Practitioner Course.
Once you understand where someone is accessing information using the technique, it is very easy to help the person to store and access information more productively.
These skills can be applied whenever one style of learning is more appropriate than another, for example, the ability to listen to and internally recall sound is invaluable when learning music or a second language, they same set of skills are also required for remembering verbal instruction
Being able to recognise the way that someone stores information and offer a more effective alternative can have dramatic results both for children and adults alike.
So, why do some teachers get really good results and have excellent rapport with the pupil’s who are often seen to have the most challenging behaviour?
It would be an interesting exercise to model the teachers who have this kind of rapport with their pupils.
NLP is built upon modelling excellence and in the Master Practitioner course we teach the skills and techniques of modelling, to enable everyone to obtain the same fantastic results as those who excel in certain areas.
This is extremely useful in all aspects of life and business, not just teaching.
Another of the presuppositions or rules of NLP relates to respecting the other person’s model of the world and in our experience; the teacher who take the time to really understand their pupil and the model of the world that they operate from are the ones who have the greatest rapport and results.
Using flexibility within a classroom, to incorporate everyone’s model of the world and learning style, will result in an inclusive environment, where everyone feels comfortable to learn. This will be replicated by the pupil’s conduct with each other both inside and outside the classroom.
These are just some of the ways that the NLP, which is taught on our NLP Practitioner course, can be used within a teaching/training environment.
If you are interested in finding out more about our NLP Practitioner courses designed for teaching…