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Incessantly talking student

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by crusader62, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. crusader62

    crusader62 New commenter

    I have a problem with one of my learners incessantly talking. He is not unintelligent or offensive, he is a likable lad. But he is making it very difficult to teach in class because of his incessant talking to other learners and causing a distraction.
    I don’t know if this is any sort of recognised condition.

    I have one idea for what I may try but if anybody has any strategies, I would welcome any suggestions.
    Happyregardless likes this.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I would try taking him on one side and having a face to face but uncompromising chat. Start out with his good features - BUT learning in all schools around the world has to insist on quiet and focus on the work. If he cannot allow this, then things will need to be moved to a higher level, which will be unpleasant for him. It will then be his choice if you have to escalate. I fear that sooner or later you will need to involve HOD or pastoral head.
    pepper5 and crusader62 like this.
  3. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    I don't think I've ever taught in a school where this sort of lad didn't appear in various groups! Where I am now there are four of them that immediately come to mind - one in a Y7 group, two in two Y9 groups and one in a Y8 group. One in Y9 in particular is a smashing lad, as nice a kid as you could wish to meet. He just can't settle or focus, and he is not skilled in my subject, so he isn't taking at it GCSE. I had the chat that Phlogiston rightly recommends, once I'd sussed out the situation, with all four of them - and in no case did it fully solve the issue. So I moved them all. One had to sit at the front on his own and I drew a large eye on the whiteboard at the start of the first lesson in which he was in his new place, which caused much laughter, in which he joined. They were all philosophical about it - they know I like them and that I wasn't being unfair. It has helped quite a bit, though as of last term it still wasn't perfect. But teen kids aren't perfect, which is something I think we sometimes forget, and as the classes are all doing well, I'm not going to push it much more as long as the improvement continues.
    How you set out the class, and where pupils sit, is in my view sometimes an underrated management tool. I tweak it quite a lot with some groups and it usually has the desired effect. But be good-natured and positive about it whilst you are doing it. Students can usually see and appreciate when you are doing things for the benefit of all...
    pepper5 and crusader62 like this.
  4. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    annoying, inappropriate chatting aside:rolleyes: - some kids (and adults!) talk a little more if they are socially anxious ( most people think they would just become quiet and withdrawn) or insecure about themselves as learners. Of course it might not be any of that, but as quite a garrulous lady myself, I know If I feel as if someone 'gets' me, I am secure in their company, listens to me, that stops some of what some may see as 'verbal d******' and I see as happy chatting in myself lol!:) Do all the usual classroom management practical stuff such as moving seats and everything else but could also try making him feel more secure as a learner - in whatever way you think best as you obviously know the individual better than any of us.
    crusader62 likes this.
  5. crusader62

    crusader62 New commenter

    Thank you for all of your contributions. I have thought of purchasing some headphones, then when the learners are working independently they can watch a video associated with what they are doing or listen to music. I know some may say this is a distraction to some learners but so also is a learner who is monopolising the class attention for a lot of the time.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Your idea is good - let them watch a video associated with the topic, but perhaps avoid letting them listen to music because that may cause resentment in other classes when the other teachers may not allow it.
    freckle06 and crusader62 like this.
  7. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    I have used a tally chart. Just stop every time he is speaking and make a mark on the chart. When it has been really annoying I have written times before ie 12.20 and after 12.25 and then written in homework diary, " Today I had to stop 24 times in 5 minutes because Cedric was speaking."
  8. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Sometimes the front of the room is not the best option. I taught one lad who was best at the back - at the front, you'd forever be seeing the back of his head. At the back on his own, he only had anyone to talk to if they turned round.
    freckle06 and pepper5 like this.
  9. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    I LIKE this idea might have to 'magpie' it!
  10. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    The best thing about doing what I suggest is that you do not need to comment. Just put the marks down and carry on when the talking has stopped. You can have a quiet word or write in diary depending on how annoying or nice the kid is.

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