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A 'louder than normal' class reputation...

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by henry_land, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. I'm a KS1 NQT in a very large East of England Primary. I have thoroughly enjoyed this year and have manged to get through it unscathed. Yet, more importantly, my class have made unbelievable progress considering how low (area problem) they came in at, at the start of reception. I am extremely happy with the progress they have made, and chuffed to bits with the maturity progress of some of these 5/6 year olds.

    Despite this, they have a reputation (within the KS) of being 'too' loud, or 'louder than they should be'. And yes, I have some very vibrant characters in my class, but nearly all the children in the class have made more progress than 'what is expected' and honestly, I feel as though without the characters, and the need to talk to each other, perhaps some of the literacy progress (S&L, writing) would have been hindered.

    I don't feel I'm mixing up achievement and behavior and should distinguish between the two, as I honestly feel they go hand in hand.

    What I would like to make clear, is they are not talking to each other about unrelated things during learning time, it is more often than not, 'in the line', when they are waiting on the carpet, or at the end of an assembly. And while I feel it is traditional etiquette for children to sit in silence while teachers conduct their duties, should it not also be taken into account, that these small children need to communicate when they feel the time is right?

    As adults, we are allowed to talk in the line when waiting for the bus, or walking round a hospital. We are allowed to talk when waiting for the lecturer to commence. And we are allowed to talk at the end of a university lecture. So why are these children not?

    I completely understand that the volume of some children in my class needs to be bought down, and maybe it's my job to work with these children so they understand that they sometimes they need to be quieter. However, I really feel as though silence, for the sake of silence is not helpful, and that the reputation of my class, for the amount of progress they have made, should not really be a problem.

    I suppose I have taken this quiet personally, but I also feel that there is a need to express my concern.

    I could stop the talking, but why would I if it's not hindering them?

    Thanks for reading, any opinions will be welcome!

  2. NQT88

    NQT88 New commenter

    Different teachers have different preferences. So long as your expectations are clear, then I don't see a problem. If you're comfortable with the noise level and believe its conducive to learning then surely that's all that matters. I know my classes last teacher hated talking, so they worked pretty much silently, I prefer talking, collaboration and discussion - this means the noise level can get a bit loud but I've recently been told that their communication, enthusiasm and focus was a positive feature in my classroom when I was observed. I think it allows for children to learn from one another and while I keep the noise below a certain level, I'm not that fussed; it's my personnel preference.
  3. scienceteacha

    scienceteacha New commenter

    Back in the day, having a silent class seemed to almost guarantee you a 3 or better in obs. Now, new OFSTED criteria (rightly) expect kids to interact with the lesson more ie. make some noise.

    I agree in many ways about the idea of not having 'silence for silence sake.' However, I am a fan of reminding children (secondary) that while talking is necessary for groupwork, they should remember their friends/seating partners are less than a metre away and not in the next county!

    Ultimately, you have to decide whether to assume personal responsibility in your yteaching methods for this being a 'loud' class or whether it is a 'noisy year group' that will stay noisy as they progress upwards. Classes are a small enough number that a given year can have more extrovert children than average, for instance!
  4. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    One problem here is that you don't see it as a problem, so I sense you're writing this to hear others echo your view. If others are telling you it's a problem to them, then maybe that needs to be something you can consider. Perhaps it impedes them in some way. And if your class is much louder than every other class you can see why other teachers might want your class to tone it down a bit.

    One reason they're being noisier is because you see it as OK; I'm not judging you for that, they may well be practically silent for all I know. But if you allow it as a teacher then that's a clear signal for them it's ok.

    To be honest, I'm not convinced by the 'they can be noisy and learning' argument; think how much they would kern if they were quiet when you needed them to be. And I promise you, there will be plenty of kids in the room who aren't learning as much as they could do because of the noise.

    If the noise is only at 'public moments' like queues and assemblies, then make a decision- is it important or not? If it's a request from a line manager, then the answer is yes, because schools run as a team, and your actions undermine the effective running of that team. If it's no- and you might be right- then tell them what you think and make a case that learning isn't being impeded, nor are their actions causing any real problems in any other way. I suspect this might be a case where you need to run with the crowd, because what might sound harmless to you might be unbearably distracting and chaotic to someone else.

    Good luck


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