How to Smile While You Teach (but not look like a phony)

Some days you don’t feel like teaching.  You walk in to the classroom, and you know that there will be people staring at you.  And they all want something.  And you don’t want to give them anything.  No love, no understanding, no empathy.  We all have days like this.  But you can’t tell them all to go home and cancel class.  You have to find a way to still continue building and maintaining a positive classroom experience.

You have to figure out a way to not look angry or upset.  This is often done with a smile.  But not any type of smile.  You need to smile with the Duchenne Smile.

According to a 2014 article in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior titled “The Duchenne Smile and Persuasion,” authors Hall and Gunnery quote Ekman (2002), defining a Duchenne Smile as:

The Duchenne smile is an expression that includes activation of the zygomatic major muscle which pulls the lip corners up into a smile, and activation of the orbicularis oculi muscles which raise the cheeks to create crow’s feet around the eyes.

Here is some random guy from LifeHacker describing it:

So basically this is a smile that involves your eyes and raises your cheeks.  Research shows that this type of smile has a TON of benefits for those able to use it.  According to the same Hall and Gunnery article:

Mehu et al. (2007) found that people showing Duchenne smiles were rated as more generous and extroverted as compared to people showing non-Duch-
enne smiles.

Woodzicka (2008) found that in a job interview context, people who produce Duchenne smiles are rated as more hireable and competent than people who display non-Duchenne smiles.

Bernstein et al. (2010) found that people prefer others who are displaying genuine (or Duchenne) smile as opposed to non-Duchenne smiles after they have
faced social exclusion.

This article discussed how the Duchenne Smile can actually be created deliberately by many people.  When discussing deliberate facial expressions that are somewhat forced, we can often feel like we are being “fake” or “manipulative.”  But there are certain times where our intentions are genuine but we might be tired or have had something happen that is effecting us.  The Hall and Gunnery article concludes that even if we force it, the Duchenne Smile is consistently more persuasive than other facial expressions and types of smiles.

The final concluding thoughts were that Duchenne Smiles lead to pleasantness, and pleasantness typically leads to more effective persuasion.  So if you can create a smile like this on demand, do it!  If not, then try to learn how.

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libraryIn this review of the third chapter in the book What the Best College Teachers Do, Ken Bain and his research team explore the question: How do they prepare to teach?  After surveying those classified as the best teachers in their field, Bain discusses 13 techniques that emerge from the data.  These are discussed in the podcast below.  Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes!

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What do great teachers know about how we learn?In the second chapter of “What the Best College Teachers Do,” Ken Bain answers the question “What Do They Know about How We Learn?”  He explores this question by investigating if great teachers have a deep knowledge about the process of learning or if there is some innate quality that they possess.  One of the key findings is that great college teachers try to change the way we think about the ideas in their discipline so that we understand them in new and important ways.  Great insights in this chapter, listen to the podcast for a summary and review.

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apple and booksAs a professor of communication, I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my teaching.  I just finished reading the book “What the Best College Teachers Do,” by Ken Bain.  I have created a series of podcasts summarizing the content from the first five chapters.  While this will provide a great overview of the material, I strongly encourage reading this book to get a close look at the case studies and research Bain uses as support.  This is the first of five posts.  Enjoy!

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BE011- Brooke Hopkins on Personalized Learning

In this interview guest Brooke Hopkins and host Eric Robertson explore the potential of personalized learning to enhance student engagement, curiosity, and resilience. Hopkins advocates for beginning courses with student interest and learning preferences inventories and using that information to enhance lectures, design real world applications, and develop a wider range of assignment and assessment options for students. The discussion of the implications of personalized learning ranges from thoughts about the relationship between personal learning preferences and group dynamics to ideas about alternative assignment structures, the use of technology and personalized learning networks, the importance of failure and resilience in learning, and the power of research driven by each individual student’s curiosity. You can learn more about Brooke Hopkins’ (Malik’s) work and personalized learning by visiting her website.

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In this podcast, host Eric Robertson interviews MiraCosta College Faculty Director of Online Learning Jim Julius about Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Dr. Julius begins the discussion by explaining how Universal Design for Learning advocates for the use of multiple means of representation, engagement, and expression in educational contexts. Then he and Eric explore the implications of those principles for lecturing and other presentation techniques, flipped classrooms, activity and assignment design, feedback to students, and online learning. Throughout the conversation, Dr. Julius explains how UDL can inform all of these pedagogical questions and consistently advocates for an incremental, exploratory approach as faculty test new ways to diversify their students’ learning options. Other topics discussed include the implications of Universal Design for Learning for MOOC’s, adaptive learning approaches, student engagement through choices, and learning styles. You can follow up with Jim Julius on twitter, at his blog, or via email: mailto:jimjulius@miracosta.edu.

Special thanks to Jim Sullivan for the blog post, Dan Siegel for the music and MiraCosta Professional Development for the hosting.

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In this interview, host Eric Robertson has a conversation with renowned communications expert, entrepreneur, speaker and author Nancy Duarte about how her work on presentations and visual story telling can inform teaching. Topics explored include strategies for engaging with an audience, the importance of passion in presentation and teaching, the impact that flipped classrooms will have on teachers as both presenters and learning activity designers and the potential impact of entrepreneurial and self-directed pedagogies. The conversation concludes with Duarte’s reflections on the extraordinary teaching and lecturing of Richard Feynman, who communicated his own sense of wonder through passionate, poetic, and brilliantly structured lectures. You can further explore Nancy Duarte’s work by visiting her Ted Profile page, following her on twitter, or taking a look at her two books: Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audience and slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations.
Special thanks to Jim Sullivan for the blog post, Dan Siegel for the music and MiraCosta Professional Development for the hosting.

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In this podcast, host Eric Robertson and professional development technology facilitator Laura Conley discuss strategies for improving professional development activities for educators. As Conley shares her “flipped” approach to professional development, she advocates for promoting a sense of ownership among professional development participants by asking faculty what they need and designing sessions that respond to those needs. Based on strategies like working with faculty in small groups, developing workshop agendas with links to interesting technology resources, and asking faculty to prepare in advance for those workshops, Conley’s approach shifts the emphasis from presenters showing people what they can do to faculty exploring shared interests in a focused and productive environment. This discussion of flipped professional development also includes descriptions of effective but easy to learn online tools like Evernote, thinglink, and Piktochart and concludes with an invitation to further explore Conley’s ideas via her twitter account (@lconley86) and her new web site flipped-pd.com

Click here to take a one question quiz and receive a certificate of completion!

Special thanks to Jim Sullivan for the blog post, Dan Siegel for the music and MiraCosta Professional Development for the hosting.

Better Educators

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In this interview with Dr. Bernard Robin from the University of Houston, Eric Robertson addresses the question of how doctors learn to become educators. Similar to college educators, medical professionals are often placed in teaching roles with little to no training on how to teach, and Dr. Robin shares his experience developing a program to help those who are already experts, become expert teachers.

One highlight of the program Dr. Robin has created is the feature of digital storytelling. Dr. Robin discusses examples of the implementation of digital storytelling from his website (http://digitalstorytelling.coe.uh.edu/) and ways to bring it into a variety of classes.

Click here to take a one question quiz and receive a certificate of completion!

Special thanks to Dan Siegel for the music and MiraCosta Professional Development for the hosting.

Better Educators

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BE006-Learning Styles with Rachele Demeo

In his interview with MiraCosta College French Professor Rachéle DeMéo, host Eric Roberston inquires about differences between French and American educational systems before exploring Professor DeMéo’s experience with learning styles in her language classes. An enthusiastic advocate of the power of learning style awareness to enhance student learning and teacher pedagogy, DeMéo reviews the basic learner types (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic), shares a wide range of specific techniques and activities, and rebuts research skeptical about learning styles approaches.

Interested in investigating learning styles a bit further? Try visiting this brief quiz Professor DeMéo shared with Eric during her interview: about.com learning styles quiz.

Click here to take a one question quiz and receive a certificate of completion!

Special thanks to Jim Sullivan for writing this post, Dan Siegel for the music and MiraCosta Professional Development for the hosting.

Better Educators

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