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Ways to get a noisy class to be quiet and listen

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by welsheuphnatty, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. welsheuphnatty

    welsheuphnatty New commenter


    What techniques have you found help to get students' attention on you at the front of the class?
    I am about to start teaching in my second placement where I will for about 12 weeks and the classes I have observed are rather noisy and disrepectful to their teachers. It is quite different to my last school. Not ALL students are but there are quite a few individuals and the general culture is to not be settled.

    The tutor group I am going to be taking just come in and chat away in groups, keep their coats on, eat, and the tutor is shouting at the top of his voice to get their attention and even then they carry on at low levels. getting louder gradually.
    I want to be able to get to know this group and do PD sessions with them ( 1 hr weekly... tutor time is only 10 minutes) but at the moment it seems like it will be impossible!! I am however up for a challenge and thinking of giving them a seating plan for tutor group (they will not like it at all!!) and give them 5 min tasks to do when they come in.
    I feel like it will pay off if I work at it but I am a naturally happy smiley person and shouting at them may not have the desired effect. I dont want to do this and my "assertive voice" is not that practised

    Please - any tips :)

  2. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    A seating plan is a good start.
    More importantly what are you going to do if they ignore you (as with the current teacher)? Is there a Head of Year/Member of SLT you can set on them? I assume there's too many naughty ones for piecemeal punishments to be effective.
  3. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Make it clear that you are in charge from the start.
  4. Findlotte

    Findlotte Established commenter

    Here's a list of a few techniques (http://iteachpsych.tumblr.com/post/138675554284/behaviour-techniques)

    It's mainly consistency - stick to your behaviour techniques (2 warnings and a removal, names on the board, negative points) Try to follow the school's policy so they know what to expect and it's the same around school.

    Seating plans are good, if it's not working - change it. You're in charge and you can make them sit anywhere.

    Own your room, don't stand behind the desk. Walk around, watch them.

    Online timers are good (http://www.online-stopwatch.com/) time how much they waste and make them owe it back in silence at the end.

    Sometimes you have to be an ass, but it's so important to build relationships with your students too. Get to know them as people, try not to spend your whole lesson disciplining them.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Great advice,
    INote that does not mean you have to shout. In fact i reckon if you have to regularly raise your voice that is not a sign of control.
    If you do need to raise your voice, try immediately to drop the tone and level and thank the students for their quick response. Not in a condescending or apologetic way but in an acknowledgement that they are aware of your standards and expectations.

    There is a reason why it takes a while to get the hang of behaviour, as each cohort of students (even within one school0 will respond differently and whilst trying to remain consistent you do need to moderate expectations, depending on the dynamics of any group.
  6. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    Praise the good - Not too much don't make it so that the praise seems fake make it honest even if it thank you Johnny for being quiet like I asked sorry that those around you aren't.

    Punish the bad - Set yourself a line in the sand they cross it you stop them make sure to follow through when you can. The phone calls to parents can take ages and I'm bad for it myself as I forget to call a lot. As I said to my class you can try and push it if you wish and you have a 50% chance I will forget your detention and forget to phone home, you have a 50% chance I will remember it, note it, put it on sims call your parents and stamp on you. You need to ask yourself is if worth it.

    I have a more worthwhile suggestion.
    Line the class up outside or inside (depending on location) - Introduce yourself and say these are my expectations of you. When you go in you get your equipment out, take your coat off and do the activity on the board. I will be fair, I wont jump on your neck if you don't do this in the first 30 seconds but I'm not going to wait 5 minutes for you, I'm not going to waste the education of the people around you while waiting for you to be quiet. If you don't do these things I will follow the schools behaviour policy, if you do and you work beyond expectation I will reward it as that's fair.

    If you agree to these terms go through the door now. If you don't wait here and I will get you removed as I'm not going to waste the time of others in this class.

    Then you have to follow through. (Just a suggestion its worked for me in the past it may not for you I'm quite lucky I'm 6ft tall quite large, a very booming voice, incredible energy and a shaved head)

    Dominate them to some degree - make a seating plan put them in it, ignore any arguments they have its your rules (check seating plan with another teacher to avoid friends and personality clashes). Make sure there is something for them to do at the start of a lesson (could be a starter for the starter), don't give them a chance to misbehave.

    Make sure to pick up late students and uniform picking on the smaller things prevents the larger issues sometimes and its something which is visible to the students
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Excellent advice there @Robfreeman I agree with all of it.[​IMG]
  8. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    What's the purpose of the tutor time? If the school generally uses it just to register and lets kids chat after that it will be hard to suddenly change it into a "lesson".
    I'm not saying you shouldn't assert yourself and insist on quiet while you talk but if you want to do more it will need to be purposeful.
  9. Guitargirl28

    Guitargirl28 New commenter

    I like to use a stop signal, especially one that's unique to you. Something where you do not have to use your voice. I'm a primary trainee and I use a bongo atm. My university tutor uses clapping. My secondary school geography teacher had a rain maker which I really liked. I've heard flicking the lights on and off too. Just something that says I am about to speak so you need to be listening.

    Also maybe give them a small task they have to get on with like you said but have it visually displayed before they come in, so you don't even need to give instructions. This might mean they settle into the task and you can talk to them while they complete it.

    The first time something happens, state what rule of your classroom they are breaking to warrant the verbal warning. Make sure you don't look like you are creating lots of rules just to pick on them.

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