A good buddy said to me recently, 'so much of communication is non-verbal'. People make snap judgements way before you even think of speaking. They (we) probably aren't even aware of it.
This is important to remember as a teacher, a leader, a parent, a caregiver, a coach, etc.
Especially if you are around children.
They pick up what you're puttin down... nonverbally.
They're watching like hawks. Nervous system mirroring your movements. Scanning for something different.
Noticing when something's a bit off.
ie (hmmmm, Ms Mack is a girl like my mommy but she has armpit hair like my daddy. That's funny. I don't have hair there, but I'm a girl...my mommy doesn't have hair there but she's a girl, etc.) These are things my pre-K students say often. Oh, ok. Ms Mack has armpit hair.
Cuz I say, 'Yeah Ms Mack grows hair there. Some people shave it and some people don't.' And what a great teachable moment about armpits!
This is a part of your body that can MOVE! "Let's hide out armpits! Put your hands into your armpits and squeeze your arms into the sides of your body." (shoulder ADDuction for all you movement nerds)
Or "Let's show off our armpits! Air them out! Stretch your arms out really wide like wings." (shoulder ABduction - my fav in the summer when shit gets sweatyyyyy)
Every move we make they're watching.
We don't have to be overly self-conscious...just aware enough to remember that how you hold yourself matters.
For example when I race to teach a class, my nervous system is upregulated, anxious, ready to fight/flight/freeze. Students (of any age actually) subconsciously pick up on this. And typically during that class they're also hyper, "overactive" or "misbehaving"....side note these are terms for another discussion.
If I arrive all calm and grounded, the kids are usually pretty calm too. I can attempt to set the tone with my posture, my facial expressions, the way I pause before speaking. The confidence I have regarding my body.
Their brains pick up on so much.
We teach without words first.