Welcome to the New Teacher Training Academy
* The First Seven Seconds *
The teacher will be able to understand the impact of first impressions
and the four essential qualities needed to draw
students toward the teacher and learning
Of the very first day
When we see our students for the first time, we may not realize how vitally
important the first seconds of contact really are. Yet, the truth of the matter is that the first seven
seconds we have with students have immediate as well as lasting effects.
Understanding this reality can help us prepare--and can alter our entire year
with students. Therefore, if we intend to get off to a good start and have a good
year, we would be wise to consider the facts and respond accordingly.
research is very clear.
Roger Ailes is one of the world’s foremost experts on communication. He has
advised presidents. He has counseled some of the most successful Fortune 500
business professionals regarding how to improve communication skills. And he
has been CEO of both CNBC and America’s Talking. For almost three decades,
his influence has grown, and now its dimensions are both wide and deep. The
advice of Roger Ailes should not be discounted by any professional educator.
Ailes says that the
truths of good communication are available to all of us. And foremost
among these truths are his findings on
“the first seven seconds”He reminds us that the research is very
clear: We start to make up our minds about other people immediately--within
the first seven seconds of meeting them. Ailes says it’s a very primitive
action, but “consciously or unconsciously, we’re signaling to other people
what our true feelings are” when we havecontact with them. And we are sending
a message regarding “what we really want to have happen in an encounter” or
in our relationships with them.
Therefore, in the first seven seconds,
we begin to say things to ourselves which have lasting impact.
For instance, we ask ourselves, “Do I need to be alarmed by this person? Is this a good person? Is he or she friendly? What are the
intentions of this person?” In effect, we rapidly go through a series of
options and “arrive at” and “settle on” a general perception of that
person. Without doubt, students do the same with us. If we think not, we are
mistaken. And this is one mistake that may prove costly to both us and our
After the first seven seconds,
we justprocess our perceptions.
There is a second truth. Ailes says
that once the first seven seconds have passed, it’s extremely difficult to
reverse that first impression. This reality can have catastrophic
consequences for teachers who don’t understand the signals they send to
students. “After that initial seven seconds,” he says, “we’re just
fine-tuning everything that we perceived.” If later behavior doesn’t fit with
positive first impressions, we ask ourselves, “Gee, I liked him before. Why
like him now?” However, we try to make our later
impressions conform to the framework of the decisions we made in the first
seven seconds. For teachers, this second truth is very important. If
students’ first reaction is to distrust us or believe that we are unfair or
uncaring, it’s going to be hard to change theirminds. However, when we come
across as enthusiastic, caring, and genuine in the first seven seconds, the
seeds we want to sow are planted.
Ailes’ third truth emphasizes the need
for the ability to make students comfortable. He insists this is the number
one talent of all great communicators. Students should be able to look into
our eyes and immediately know we like them and, therefore, wouldn’t do
anything to hurt them. When such is the case, we will automatically produce
an ineffable quality: likability. Ailes calls likability the “magic bullet.”
If students like us, they will forgive just aboutanything we do wrong.
However, he says likability is hard to define.
To be considered likable, one must exhibit four enduring characteristics-- integrity, respect for others, trustworthiness, and honesty.
What is more, likable people tend to be optimists, which makes sense.
After all, it’s hard to like anyone who responds by saying “horrible” when
asked “How was your day?” But Ailes says the most important element
shared by people who are liked is that they like other people--and genuinely
care about the well-being of others.
This characteristic makes them likable. He also insists
that, in general, people who try hard to be likable aren’t. Therefore, our
task the first day is to beourselves and make sure students know our intent
is to open doors of opportunity for them.
The Master Teacher knows there are four essential
qualities we must master.
The Master Teacher doesn’t discount
the importance of beginnings. And the first
seconds of class are among the most important of all. To deliver the message
we want, we must master what Ailes considers to be four essential qualities. First and foremost, we must
be prepared. Students must haveconfidence that we know what we are
talking about--and know that we’ve prepared ourselves to teach them.
Second, The Master
Teacher knows we must have the ability to make
students comfortable and safe with us, their classmates, and what we
are teaching. We need to recognize that teachers who are comfortable and make
students comfortable don’t overreact to events by being negative, getting
uptight, or blowing up. Keeping our emotions in check helps make students
feel comfortable and safe being with us.
Third, The Master
Teacher believes we must be committed. Ailes says commitment is critical because when we care, we
perform at a higher level. Finally, The Master Teacher is aware that we must
be interesting and enthusiastic. We must use
our individuality and creativity. After all, an interesting and enthusiastic
teacher stimulates students’ curiosity and passion for learning. It all
begins with the first seven seconds.
Welcome to the New Teacher Training
Central Asociation Accrediation and School
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