BAZ Productions has been working with Teach First for five years to develop a comprehensive Teacher Presence training that equips participants with the skills to effectively manage the communication aspects of their roles as teachers.
This training weaves theoretical research from psychological, sociological and physical practices into experiential workshops. Theories of physical communication and the psychology of assertiveness are coupled with vocal skills training based on the works of Patsy Rodenburg and Cicely Berry. Fundamentally this training focuses on how to optimise the communication of the individual through non-verbal means, using body language and tone as the primary communication tools.
Our training in Teacher Presence covers three areas:
1) Physical Presence
2) Vocal Skills
Physical Presence breaks down the role of non-verbal communication in interactions, relationship building and conflict resolution.
Research demonstrates that over half of what we communicate in any interaction is via body language alone. Further to this over a third of what we communicate is through the tone of our voice. This leaves a very small proportion of what we communication to another person belonging to the actual words that we say. However all too often we forget about our body language and tone making it easy for us to undermine the message we are trying to communicate through unconscious non-verbal habits.
Our work tackles this, exploring methods to change physical habits and strengthen the internal thoughts and beliefs that govern these habits. We support participants in awareness and control of their non-verbal communication to ensure that what they are putting out into the world is what they want to be communicating.
Vocal Skills is a physical practice that explores the mechanics of voice production, good practice for voice in the classroom and general vocal health.
According to NUT, teachers are eight times more likely to suffer from vocal-health related conditions than those in other professions. Added to this 50% of NQTs lose their voice in their first year of teaching. While this clearly causes practical difficulties for the teachers in question to work effectively in the classroom, it can also cause additional stress, pressure and emotional trauma.
Our work here looks at physical training to prepare and strengthen the voice for classroom practice, as well as exploring modulation of the voice for engagement and differentiation of tone.
Wellbeing introduces the ideas of emotional wellbeing and self-care. We explore ways of identifying, coping with and managing stress and anxiety, how to reflect on personal vulnerabilities that the training and classroom may trigger, and introduce some basic psychological concepts that can prepare us for classroom experience and professional relationships.
Our Wellbeing work is developed by certified arts therapists, exploring a range of work from personal wellbeing to resilience, group dynamics and managing mental health in teams.
BAZ will provide fortnightly contributions to the PDL and LDO bulletins, drawing on our work across all three strands. Look out for videos on voice skills, definitions of assertiveness for communication, tips for wellbeing as well as much more!