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ENVoY Training Part 1

By Candis Parrish

Do you ever feel like you’ve planned a standards driven lesson that’s both engaging and fun, only to have it fall flat because you spend more time dealing with behaviors than teaching your class?  Have you tried management systems like breaks and timeouts with limited success?  Learning how to effectively use non-verbal signals can help you successfully manage student behavior while keeping the focus on what’s really important: the learning. 

ENVoY (Educational Non-Verbal Yardsticks) is a management system that teaches how to utilize your body, voice, eyes, and breath to manage student behaviors without interrupting the flow of your lesson.  I recently had the opportunity to attend a two-day ENVoY training session, and here you’ll find notes and takeaways from the session, like how to use “freeze body” and the difference between managing and discipline.

ENVoY is all about teacher ACTIONS:









Every day there are minor and major behaviors that we deal with in our classrooms: 

Examples of minor behaviors:


Examples of major behaviors:


Phrases we use (and overuse) to address these behaviors:

Head down on desk



Where are you going?


Students sitting on tables

Skipping class


Put your phone away


Blurting out

Leaving the room


Get to class


Chatting with neighbor

Physical violence




Leaving seat

Severe destruction of property


Stay on task


Refusal to work


Please stop





















Why are these important?

The above are management words which can be reduced by using non-verbal communication, which in turn increases the time we can spend on what really matters:

Curriculum and Relationships

Important note:  When you learn something new about a child or they learn something new about you, you are building a relationship.  “I like the way you’re _____.” is a positive management phrase, but it’s still a management phrase, not a relationship building statement.

When non-verbals are applied to the classroom, they impact teaching in many ways:

Higher teacher energy

Positive culture

Lower stress

Mutual respect

Stronger relationships

More time for learning

More Fun!

Things to think about when assessing your non-verbal communication style:

Body: posture, gesture, location (proximity).  Biggest part of location is when to move and when to stand still

Voice: Tone, volume and speed

Eyes: Where is the teacher looking?  Where are the students looking?  

Breathing: Key to cross-cultural communication.  Low and deep shows calm, clear thinking and a willingness to be in a relationship.  High and shallow triggers a fight/flight/freeze response.

In the next post, I will cover some practical strategies for implementing non-verbal communication in the classroom.


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