Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

My Best Assembly

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

My Best Assembly

Article excerpt

How moves like these can boost pupils' confidence

My school sets a termly theme for assemblies and my topic for this particular session was "mistakes". We have a lot of freedom to explore the subject matter in any way that we see fit, and I decided to take the opportunity to address the issue of body language.

Being an avid follower of Ted talks, I had recently watched a lecture given by Amy Cuddy, an associate professor at Harvard Business School (bit.ly/AmyCuddyTalk). She says we usually look at body language in terms of the impact it has on other people, often forgetting the influence that our body language has on ourselves. Cuddy reveals that certain poses can increase testosterone levels and, interestingly, reduce levels of cortisol - one of the primary stress hormones. When cortisol levels drop, people are better able to handle stressful situations.

In my assembly, I outline Cuddy's research and ask the students to analyse their body language at that very moment. What is it saying to others and what is it saying to themselves?

Then I relate this to interviews for jobs and university. …

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