1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

is shouting necessary to settle down a class/make them quiet?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by scienceteacher11, May 8, 2011.

  1. scienceteacher11

    scienceteacher11 New commenter

    I'm struggling with noisy classes because I physically can't shout, my voice just doesn't go that loud! When i try to shout it isn't very loud and my voice goes wobbly which some children just find funny...how else can I get them to be quiet. I really struggle with registration I sometimes have to take forms that I don't know and getting them to be quiet to take the register is hard, sometimes I just give up and take it over the noise which I know I shouldn't. Advice please
  2. Make them line up outside the door until they're quiet before you let them in?
  3. bigkid

    bigkid New commenter

    I rarely shout.There is usually a better alternative. If it is afternoon registration or before a break then wait for them to be quiet and keep them behind if they don't. Set detentions, inform their head of year, phone home.
    The main thing is to persevere.
  4. It sounds daft, but I do use this with good results. Standing at front of class, talking as if to myself, 'Ah, they're all chatting when I need them to be listening.' (at this point the ones in front are shushing the rest) If the noise continues... 'Shame, I'll have to keep them in for a while to make the time up...' I put a tally mark on the board and keep them in for a minute. I do add tally marks if necessary during the session.
  5. todd89

    todd89 New commenter

    Definitely going to try this method when I start covering shortly.

  6. What age?
    I have used this with Y7 and 8 in lessons because I had a class that were hard to settle each time I wanted to feed back during the lesson.
    Tell them it's a game, they have to notice your action and copy it, last one is the loser. When it's time do a subtle hand signal, like hold up your little finger. As class start noticing change the signal, make them funny eg finger in ear. Eventually they all catch on and they tell eachother. They also concentrate because you are changing the signals. Sounds childish but works!
  7. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Consider buying a whistle...I find it very useful. Most effective if used sparingly. Useful in the schoolyard too. Never near a child's ear. [Or some darling who has deafened them self with headphones and loud music will try and blame you for their stupidity...]

    One strategy comment positively on those who are getting it right. Target those who are blatantly rude and speak over you. Keeping them in at break for 5 or 10 mins to 'practice being quiet' is often effective.

    It really depends upon your school. If you have poor discipline or weak SMT then you are on a hiding to nothing in some ways.

    I find the whistle most effective. Catch the eyes of those nearest to you and mime putting your fingers in your ears.

    It is hilarious to see the shock on the faces of the incessant chatterboxes.
    Good luck.
  8. darkness

    darkness New commenter

    I have in the past sent a class out to line up and come in properly. It took 5 goes, but they were sick and tired of it and just shut up. They never did talk after that.

    For primary schools, I usually just stand there and wait and ive a stare at the main culprits. Their buddy usually nudges them to say 'Sir is looking at you'
  9. A shouting teacher is usually either funny or scary, neither of which you want really. I'm in an inner-city academy and if we shout at kids they generally shout back - it's what a lot of them are used to doing at home.
    Instead, stand in front of them with strong body language with an expectation that they'll notice you. Say firmly 'I'll have your attention now please' and wait. Repeat it if necessary (ie if you think they couldn't possibly have heard). When half or most are quiet, say 'thank you those of you who are giving me your attention, sorry you're having to wait'. Again, repeat if necessary. It will probably take a while at first. Now the majority of my classes do it straight away. Two of my classes might take 20/30 seconds which is not perfect but better than it could be and better than it was!
    When all are quiet, and only then, start the lesson and be pacey so they have no excuse to start chatting again. Ask questions and give praise (writing names on board and ticking or verbal praise) as soon as possible to show that you're on their side when they try.
    It won't be perfect first time but be consistent, and if you're nervous try your hardest not to show it.
    Good luck


  10. By the way, you're right - you shouldn't talk over them. This just shows that you don't expect them to have enough respect for you to shut up. If you have low expectations they'll meet those and won't be bothered to rise above them!
  11. This is the kind of thinking that "worked" and existed in the 50's.....NO MORE!!! Lineup outside the door is fine....but YOU MUST LEARN TO YELL. Children (being human) respond to LOUD NOISES and WILL RESPECT IT.
  12. Develop THAT LOOK. stand looking bat them and your watch and quietly count from ten to zero. adding that if you reach zero you will keep them behind. After a few times those closest to you will do the work for you. Works every time for me.
  13. Really? I disagree, I think it's a very good way of using peer pressure effectively. Children are smart, if they realize it's one or two people who are consistently responsible for them missing even a minute of break, they very quickly become your greatest allies in getting the offenders to be quiet. Plus you only have to use it a few times, so it's not a continual thing. I've also done things like stopped talking in the middle of a sentence and crossing my arms to see how long it takes the talkers to notice (usually not very, as someone notices pretty quickly). If it's one person in particular they get to sit on the floor in the doorway since they clearly cannot be in close contact with everyone else (they can come back when they've been quiet for a set time, say 5 minutes, but if they talk again it's back to the doorway) and I follow it up with a phone call and a notation in my "Communication with Parents" binder. But I also have a really loud voice (thank you 20 years of music and drama training) so I speak loudly anyway.
  14. I am in KS2 and I am not a shouter. My class stop and listen when I ring a little bell! May not work at secondary level though!
  15. I have a loud voice too! I guess I 'project' well.
    I had a chatty class, at the start of the year. I arranged a signal with them to let them know when I was disappointed with the time they were taking to settle/quieten down at transition times, coming in from lunch break or after group discussion times.
    Having clapped or signalled for attention and not receiving it, I put one hand on my hip. The idea is to settle before I put the other hand on the other hip. Children quickly notice and shush the others. The consequences of a 2-handed hip signal is time in at lunch- everyone,
    They only experienced this once.
  16. When the class are noisy, at the moment I count down from 5 to 1, I start loudly on 5 and get quieter. I also use a visual sign too with my hand counting 5,4,3,2,1 fingers. If the class are not too loud the 5 need not be too loud, but sometimes this is almost a shout on the 5. Yet with this getting gradually quieter, only one syllable need be loud. By the way this usually works first time. Occasionally, if half the class carry on, I have to do it again, and make a big deal out of how it needen't take two tries (similar to other posters).
    Another thing I have tried with younger children is a tambourine or bell, as it makes a different sound so can be heard above their voices.
    Colleagues have also recommended voice coaching (though I still think shouting is unecessary, you may want to be able to raise your voice without straining it). Good luck.
  17. I write detention on the board and turn around to see who's acting out, talking loud or still ignoring that class has started. I write their names down and they serve it during lunch, ( in class or outside on a bench if I have duty). They are allowed to eat and work on a class subject that has to be tuned in at the end of lunc. Works for me, good luck.

  18. Often a class gets noisy when there is a transition going on, or there is no set thing the students think they should be doing.
    First of all, taking attendance does not require the children's involvement at all.Taking a public attendance can lead to all sorts of problems: kids who need to show off, kids who don't hear, comments made about why a particular student isn't in, etc. Instead, have a specific activity for the kids to do when they come in the class- it should already be on the board and the kids just have to look at the board and get to work.
    While they are working, you quietly take note of who's there and who's not, and mark it down in your attendance book.
    During other times, like waiting to go outside, passing papers, you have a similar situation.
    I highly recommend a fantastic book called "The First Days of School" by Harry K. Wong. It is an excellent resource, and though not expensive at all is worth every single penny (or pound). It is probably too late in the year to do much now, but you definitely should get it for next year, as it's full of all the stuff they don't teach you in grad school.
  19. darkness

    darkness New commenter

    I learnt to project my voice from a drama teacher in one of my old schools, it certainly worked, but it still never sorted all the issues. Shouting just leaves you with a sore throat,and frankly, depressing. You are just seen as the nutty teacher, and more likely to be the victim of students informing someone. There are some sensitive souls out there.

    I must say, I tried something new today, it has been a while since I changed my strategies, thinking, they were alright as in 70% of cases they worked. Today was one of the calmest days I have ever had. I was very conscious of the tone of my voice, changing the levels and trying hand gestures, and the result was simply remarkable.

    I would raise my voice for a countdown, and then speak gently and use hand gestures for settling down, making sure I had a presence in the room and looking at those main culprits all the while. Others may have already been doing this, but for me, it was really good. This definitely worked for me.

    So no, shouting is not necessary at all. Not unless you want to be known as the local nut. it is also a sign you have lost control anyway, and this is certainly the vibe you will give off. Oh it may well work, but you really will come across as angry and negative.
  20. gchand

    gchand New commenter

    Firstly let me say that experience is everything. You learn!
    There are two ways you can deal with this
    First option is to have a no tolerance policy. It will mean hard work and time. It will mean detention after detention, calls home, SMT involved but eventually you will get the message across.
    The second option is to win them over. Go out of your way to be friendly especially to the worst ones, share a joke or two, be human, and take an unexpected interest in them, use your personality. Get down to their level and make them think you are 'safe' and fasinating. Eventually you will get to the level that when you want address them they will want to listen to you.
    You can probably tell I use the second option but have the first option up my sleeve as well.


Share This Page