I'm glad I'm not the only one
09-18-2010, 08:06 AM
It seems everyone is having trouble with the chatters this year. I teach 9th grade and have a couple of tips that I use. I posted these on a couple other boards too.
Okay, if I am trying to teach and a couple students are chatting, I'll say "I'll wait." And I'll say nothing, cross my arms, and wait. It takes seconds for them to realize the spotlight is on them and they stop. It took a long time for me to just sit there while they talk, but making a scene only causes a disturbance and wastes time.
Or, if I am ready to move on and students are chatty or off task, I raise my hand - say nothing and put up my 5 fingers, ("give me 5" - students put their hand up to show they are following what I am doing) I count down to 1 silently. If I get to 1 finger and people are still chatting, those people get a consequence. 9 times out of 10 students who have followed the procedure will tell the chatting students "hey be quiet, she got her hand up." After they all get quiet I say "Obviously you guys are capable of being quiet since you did it just now when we practiced the procedure, so lets keep it that way." (I introduced the procedure at the beginning of the year and we practiced it) This takes self-control for the teacher and I must say I have to work on that constantly. The thing you want to do is yell, but that usually doesn't work anyway.
Personally, I am done discussing behavior with the students. We've only been in school for 1.5 months and I have said "In 9th grade, we should know better." "We are too old not to understand the rule" "You are in high school now" "This is not middle school" "I expect better from high schoolers" etc. too much times to count; it's pointless - some students don't care about how they should act - they will do as they please; therefore; I'm done discussing it - it's time for action.
Now if problems persist or for repeat offenders I use a step system.
1st offense - Warning
2nd offense - recess detention or punish work (I make my own punish work - I do have them write, but I also have them answer reflective questions - "Why was my behavior wrong?" "What can I do to improve my behavior?"
3rd offense - a visit to the counselor/parent phone call
4th offense - office referral
The biggest thing I can tell you is BE CONSISTENT, which is hard, I KNOW. I honestly don't always have the energy to go get the punishwork to give out due to Suzie and John whispering while I'm trying to teach. However, if the kids see you NOT taking action, they will take advantage. So, if your rule is no speaking when others are speaking, then you need to enforce that rule ALL THE TIME.