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What am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by studentfairy, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. studentfairy

    studentfairy New commenter

    I'm an NQT. My class is lovely and I have been repeatedly told by other teachers how lucky I am because of how nice they are, although a couple acknowledged the children could be slightly chatty.

    Well. I am really struggling with the chatter. I get their attention with two hand claps and then my hand up, which usually works well. Then I give an instruction, and they cannot do it quietly! They will burst into chatter. So I clap my hands to stop them, and remind them that they should follow instructions quietly. This sometimes works momentarily, but the chatter always builds up again.

    I want to be able to give an instruction, they do it, and then be able to give further instructions without having to get their attention again and again and again. Something as simple as 'write the date and title and underline'.

    I have tried singling out children that I spot talking, I follow the school behaviour policy which is names on board followed by ticks, which mean the chn miss some break time. I use table points and give lots of praise to the quietest tables. But today, I gave out about 50 table points just trying to praise the quiet tables! It's constant.

    What on earth am I doing wrong? I was praised for my behaviour management in my latter two placements, but I realise now that the children were simply well trained by their teacher! It wasn't anything to do with me.

    Is there a trick I'm missing that will stop them talking? I'm sick of constantly having to get their attention to give out simple instructions.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    You're not doing anything wrong especially, other than expecting quick results. It takes more than just a week to establish the type of behaviour one expects from a class. And to get the immediat behaviour response, probably at least a month, if not till half term,
    Just keep being consistent and you'll get there. They'll get the message.
    Norsemaid likes this.
  3. MichaelCawdreyBusiness

    MichaelCawdreyBusiness New commenter

    Set expectations from the outset. Use that energy and chatter to your advantage and harness that into tasks, keep them active and engaged and they will hopefully perform for you. I don't know what you teach or age group so it's hard to say more.
  4. bwilliams5

    bwilliams5 New commenter

    I wouldn't say you were doing anything 'wrong'. I always wonder why some teachers make noise to create quiet. Why clap hands to gain attention? I use a countdown, start at room volume with 5 and as you go down to 1 lower your voice. When you are at 1 you should be whispering.

    Give the instructions by whispering them, this forces the children to be quiet and actually listen to what you are saying. When you give your instructions tell them to listen to all the instructions first before acting and make the final instruction to complete the task in silence. Give all of the instructions at once, don't say write the date then stop again, write the title, stop again underline etc. Give them a list, they will remember it or write them on the board.

    Keep giving praise to the good tables. I would personally keep clear from singling certain children out as they can't be talking to themselves! If you do identify certain children I would have a chat with them 1:1 about how you feel when they talk over you / how that upsets you etc. Explaining your feelings to children about their behaviour goes a lot further than you shouting and taking their break away!
  5. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    Which year group? The younger they are, the harder they'll find it to keep quiet.
  6. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    Today mine were very chatty while we were doing their handwriting so I said if anyone talks for the next ten minutes they will be missing their golden time. Silence from them all. It helps that they know I really do mean it though and never back down! You will get there, it’s still early days.
  7. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Give it time.
    You need to be really clear with what you expect e.g. Instead of saying that you expect them to be quiet during the register, tell them to be silent, no noise whatsoever unless answering their name.
    Positive, specific praise, "Well done Jonny, I can see you're ready because you are looking this way, listening..."
    Use their chatting to an advantage... Partner talk, who can repeat my instructions.
    Tell them you are going to give them 3 instructions that they need to remember. 1 is to write the date, 2 is to write the Lo and 3 is to do the starter. You're looking for the first person to follow all 3 instructions, well done X, you have followed instructions 1 and 2 as you have written the date and the title, I'm really impressed that you followed the instructions well, that's one of our class rules....
    Have a look on YouTube for Sue Cowley tips for teachers
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  8. studentfairy

    studentfairy New commenter

    Thank you for the responses. :) Today was a little better, every time I caught someone speaking I made them stand up. Then every time the class burst into chatter after an instruction, I told them stop, paused and then repeated my instruction, which they did quietly. It was HARD WORK and I felt like an army general.:/ But it worked and they actually got on with their learning.
    Fingers crossed tomorrow is the same.
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Of course it's hard work. And it will take a couple of weeks of re-inforcement, so the children realise this is the way it's going to be. Even then on 'off days' the children are likely to forget and you'll need to remind them.

    Once you've established the 'rule', I also had some lessons, or at least part of the lesson, where quite deliberately they were allowed to 'partner-talk quietly as few children could maintain silence every lesson all day.
  10. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Praise the quiet ones. Have "Superstar" badges they can wear for the day. This certainly is appropriate up to Y3 and probably beyond. Have table points if the whole table is quiet, on a chart with an incentive - can be first table in the line for play / lunch /hometime.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. Sir Cumference

    Sir Cumference Occasional commenter

    If you continue to find this aspect of work difficult (which we all do to some extent) consider asking someone who you trust and respect to observe you in action and give you feedback. It doesn't have to be (but might be) someone from the senior management team.
  12. studentfairy

    studentfairy New commenter

    Thanks guys. They were chatty again today. I also observed another class specifically for behaviour management during my PPA time, and the children all did exactly what the teacher said. She didn't have to do anything special. Arghhhh.
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    She probably has a reputation in the school and was an absolute dragon on transition day and last week.
    Worry not...you'll get there.
    Lara mfl 05 and (deleted member) like this.
  14. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    They're probably scared of her.

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