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Charisma

Page history last edited by Martha Hickson 12 years, 4 months ago

Charles likens charisma to magnetism. Webster's New World Dictionary defines it as “a special, inspiring quality of leadership.” President Kennedy was thought to have buckets of it, and synergetic teachers need it, too. 

 

Charles defines two phases of charisma (37):

 

  • Attraction: The charm that gets students interested in following your lead.  

     

  • Fulfillment: Your continued interest in your students and your ability to deliver the content 

    that meets their educational needs. 

     

If you can attract and keep your students using your charisma, they will try to follow you, please you, and cooperate with your lessons. Misbehavior doesn’t often enter the equation at all. 

 

 

How can I get charisma?

Not everyone is naturally charismatic. You can increase your charisma by teaching yourself to project your natural charm. There are seven steps to boosting the attraction phase of charisma (39-44):

 

  • Outer personality: Show a friendly and caring exterior. Smile. Show your sense of humor. Exercise your wit and compassion.

     

  • Talking with students: Make eye contact; learn and use students’ names; ask friendly questions.

     

  • Open up your personal life: Within limits, share information about yourself;  hobbies, pets, or vacations are good starts. 

 

  • Share unusual experiences: Talk about other jobs or far-away places you have experienced.

     

  • Special skills: Share music, art, gardening, or your other areas of expertise.

     

  • Special knowledge: Learn about students’ pop culture to increase your “withitness”  and open the door to “academic biculturalism” (Gordon 58).

     

  • Memorable traits: Let students see you as a complete person, not a stereotype.

 

Once you have students’ interest, you need to boost the fulfillment phase of charisma with (46):

 

  • Meaningful content: Make sure your students learn what they want to know.

     

  • Interesting and useful content: Show the practical use for information in a way that piques students’ curiosity.  

     

  • Fun format: Let students work in groups and socialize when possible.  

     

  • Energized lessons: Show your hard effort to make class worth your students' time.

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