Welcome to the New Teacher Training Academy

* The First Seven Seconds *

Goal: 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.

       The 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 students.

                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 don’t I

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 Academy                               North Central Asociation Accrediation and School
-Click here for Tips-