I am looking for some advice on how to ensure that every child is ready and listening to my instructions. I have many children who find it very difficult to listen and are always talking when I talk. I try at all times to stop and wait when this happens and give them the teacher stare, but I know More… that the few children who do this will continue to do it again and again. Any ideas would be very much appreciated.
What you said
My current class started off being rather chatty and some of my boys seemed to think it was OK to hold conversations across the classroom while I - or one of their classmates - was talking. If it happens, I stop talking mid-sentence and stare at them, but I don’t generally wait for very long. I give them one warning, then they sit on the carpet. Without fail. Each and every time.
They know that if I make them sit on the carpet because of poor behaviour, they lose 10 minutes of time doing an activity that they enjoy. If they still talk while they are on the carpet, they lose another five minutes for each time they speak out of turn. I don’t make them do their work on the carpet, because the problem usually occurs when we talk about something as a class, or children share their work. They sit on the carpet and look at the wall until they have calmed down and had a little bit of time to think about the error of their ways. Generally, that is about five minutes. We haven’t had repeated interruptions since day five of the school year. There is the odd occurrence when they forget their manners but I can usually deal with that by giving them a warning.
The expert view
The best way is to reinforce your boundaries with the students at all times - for example, by not taking questions when you don’t want them, even to the point of ignoring a student and taking the question of a person who has asked properly. And if they persist, then they need a quick, preferably immediate sanction that invites them to see a link between undesired behaviour and a consequence that they do not want. That could be sitting on the carpet, it could be removal or it could be doing work apart from the other children. All these are age-dependent.
Tom Bennett is author of The Behaviour Guru. Read more from Tom on his TES Connect blog (bit.ly/tombennett) or follow him on Twitter at @tesBehaviour. Watch his behaviour videos at www.tesconnect.com/behaviourvideos
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