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'No Shouting' schools

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by PennyTripp, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. maggie m

    maggie m Senior commenter

    I would echo pepper 5. I have shouted twice in the last term Once when a year 7 boy was happily about to stick his hand in a bunsen flame (his friend.? told him the yellow flame didn,t hurt.) Second time when 2 year 10 girls had a cat fight in the corridor outside my room. Worked the first time but made not a scrap of difference the second time, hair extensions all over the floor.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    A teacher constantly shouting at their class to no effect - bad thing.

    A teacher speaking quietly and politely to a badly behaved and unruly class to no effect - bad thing.

    You have to keep order. I very, very rarely raise my voice but it has been extremely effective in some situations and with certain pupils when nothing else would have an effect. Good teachers know when to employ all the tools at their disposal.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. bananatree84

    bananatree84 Occasional commenter

    I think you are right and I think there is a difference between raising your voice and shouting. I am a trainee and have been advised to raise my voice more. Talking quietly to my class hasn't worked as they are a difficult class but screaming at them and using my voice I feel are different.
    whitestag likes this.
  4. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    How do you define shouting? Had colleagues and students who are naturally very loud and would have been caught out under this policy. Not so much in teaching as most teachers think carefully about tone etc, but worked in an office with one guy you swear was permanently angry and really couldn't speak quietly-he was lovely and good fun though. He wouldn't have taught for anything though...
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I tend not to shout, but it has been known occasionally.
    i have colleagues who almost always shout when reprimanding or giving repeat instructions. However they are really amazing teachers in other ways and the school would be poorer without them.

    The problem with a policy against shouting is that a great many teachers could end up in disciplinary hearings, having to justify a completely reasonable use of a raised voice. Schools could also end up losing otherwise excellent teachers who have fallen foul of such a policy.

    Shouting isn't the best way, but it isn't the end of the world either.
    pepper5 and whitestag like this.
  6. fineliner

    fineliner Occasional commenter

    Like everything else in schools it's all about context. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. In fact, what worked for me yesterday might not work today, that's because people are unpredictable. An important, but unmeasured and measurable, aspect of being a good teacher is being able to manage and respond to that unpredictability. That's why blanket policies are daft - they never really work.
  7. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    I haven't worked at a specifically no shouting school, but I have worked in schools where all staff were required to use the same signal for silence - in one clapping a rhythm and in another hands up. I found this worked well when constantly modelled and reinforced by slt, as the children quickly recognised and followed the signal, so there was no need for shouting.
    Another strategy I use is that if it's too noisy, the class have to sit in silence for 1 minute. I also train them to complete all transitions in silence. I find this really helps them to stay calm so I wouldn't need to shout. I can't remember when I last shouted, although I will raise my voice and use a more assertive tone if I'm not happy about something.
    Using visual behaviour management strategies like class dojo or writing names/placing laminated names on posters/happy or sad face etc. also helps to reduce need for shouting. You can give the consequence without needing to speak at all or by just explaining quietly what the reason is.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I like what post 26 says about context.

    In a busy, loud and large Year 11 class of chemistry students, the students would not take one bit of notice of clapping or hands up. The year 7s might.

    In large, noisy secondary classes, often before the start of the lesson, I move around the class quietly, asking students to put bags under the table, put phones away, get coats off, get out books and equipment. I find that more effective than trying to shout over the din from the front. Then when I have some order, then I start giving the instructions for the lesson and taking the register. This is all on supply.

    Sometimes, a firm raised tone of voice is what is needed which is different than shouting or screaming. However, as post 26 says it is all about the context. If a child is in danger, I will shout at them to get away if I think they are in danger.
  9. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    My head has a 'no raising your voice' policy which is pretty daft, to be honest. It's fine in a classroom setting where behaviour is reasonable (or can be worked on) but I have observed lessons - with great teachers - where a considerable period of time has been wasted by the teacher waiting for silence or giving cues that were completely ignored. It was one year group in particular that just thought it was a waste of time so continued speaking. I lost my temper one day, raised my voice ("I AM WAITING") and they were instantly quiet. I was roundly told off (in front of the students) for being 'disrespectful' to them. Needless to say, their behaviour was worse afterwards.
    Blanket policies, as pointed out above, are almost always useless. There needs to be a little bit of wiggle room. With this particular class, all the approved methods had been tried by all their teachers and nothing had worked. I'm not a big shouter but I don't believe it's the end of the flipping world if I raise my voice in an emergency situation or as a rarity.
  10. GoGoTeacherArms

    GoGoTeacherArms Occasional commenter

    At my previous school we had a 'no shouting' policy when it came to behaviour management. (If a child was in danger or we needed someone to hear us quickly we would yell! As an aside, it gave 'shouting' a new meaning - to warn and to heed, rather than to roll the eyes at because it is a common occurance.)

    We had this policy in conjunction with a restorative justice approach to behaviour management and conflict resolution. The key point to this was that it wasn't simply for the staff to be trained on how to implement this and lead by example, but also for the children to understand this approach to a key aspect of school life. It definitely changed the school ethos/feel just ever so slightly in a positive way.
  11. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    Maybe you can train them like Pavlov's dogs to sit to attention whenever you raise a rolled up newspaper ( it used to work for our cross collie ).

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