1. The first thing to remember is that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are the boss.
Self belief is incredibly important in this job. You can’t expect pupils to respond positively to you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp unless you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp believe, really believe, that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp fully deserve their respect and compliance. The thought that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are the leader in the classroom must be at the forefront of you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr mind.
If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp give any sign at all that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are NOT in FULL CONTROL, children will sense this and exploit you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr weaknesses. You MUST project strength and the impression that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp will not tolerate any disobedience.
All too often a teacher will enter a lesson filled with dread and give out the signal that they are beaten before the lesson even starts. Pupils sense this. If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp’ve been having a hard time with a particular group they will come to expect that you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp will be a walk-over and get into the habit of talking freely with total disregard for you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr threats.
2. Have definite rules on noise
Once you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp’ve decided on you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr rules (preferably with input from the pupils) you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to ensure the pupils are totally clear what those rules are. There must be no ambiguity and therefore no room for argument.
We all know how important consistency is in terms of classroom management but unless you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have a clear set of rules to work to in the first place, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can’t consistently apply them.
So, what is you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr rule on noise?
Mine is simple: If I say there is to be no talking, then there is to be no talking. I will not tolerate being interrupted without taking action. I seldom enforce this rule for longer than a few minutes – just at those key times when I am either explaining something, starting a new task or taking a register etc. – but if I tell a group that I want total silence, then I mean it. And any pupil who ignores this is dealt with straight away.
For example, never let a pupil shout out without reminding them to put up their hand. Never, allow pupils to continue talking at the start of a lesson when you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp’ve started explaining the objective. Never, let pupils interrupt you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp without reminding them that it is unacceptable to do so.
If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp let them get away with it once, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have effectively trained them to try and get away with it again.
3. Control entry to the classroom
The ideal place to establish control over you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr pupils is outside the door – before you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp even let them in the room.You must start the lesson under you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr terms. And the lesson starts before they enter the room with you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp having them line up outside the door in an orderly manner.
This is the perfect time to gauge the mood of the group and indeed the individuals in the group. You can easily spot potential problems (unhappy pupils, cases of bullying, arguments etc.) and deal with them rather than letting them go unnoticed and having them escalate into serious disruptions during you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr lesson.
If the group won’t stand still and quiet don’t let them in the room. They must do EXACTLY as you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp say before you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp let them through the door. If they run to a chair bring them back again and make them walk. If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp let them get away with anything at this important stage, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp will set the tone as being one where they can get away with things. You don’t want that.
4. Have ‘settling work’ ready for them when they enter the room
If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have a group who just won’t settle try presenting them with some of the following ‘settling work’ as soon as they enter the room. But… make sure you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp add this little twist to ensure the pupils get stuck into it straight away…
On you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr board have the following written up…
“Complete the work detailed below. You have ten minutes. If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp don’t finish it, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp will return at break to complete it.”
Obviously you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to adjust individual work targets for less able pupils to make it fair. Once they’ve started you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can go round the slow workers very quietly, out of earshot of the others, and tell them where to stop. i.e. give them a work target which requires less writing than the others –
“James, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can stop when you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp get to the end of this sentence”. (And put a pencil mark where you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp want them to get up to.)
The great advantage of this strategy is that it gives you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp a few minutes to get you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr resources sorted out. I do use this if I want to show a DVD clip and haven’t had time to set the AV equipment up for example.
On each desk you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp could have a quick topic-related puzzle, a review quiz of last lesson’s work, a cloze exercise or some text copying work. Nothing too difficult – you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp don’t want to confuse them because they’ll spend ten minutes asking questions instead of settling down. Choose something simple (and preferably light-hearted or fun) that requires no explanation or fuss.
As well as having the instructions written on the board, greet them at the door and say…
“Get started on the simple task on you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr desk – you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have ten minutes to finish it.”
Once they’re in the room you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can then add…
“Anyone not finishing this little task will finish it at break – there should be no talking. If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp talk you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp’ll come back at break and do it in silence then.”
If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp want them to copy notes from the board (or a book) make sure there isn’t a huge amount of text otherwise you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp will provoke complaints. You can ‘hide’ extra work by having five or ten lines of text for them to copy and then a note at the end saying “Now answer question 2 on page 46” which could be another five or ten lines of notes.
“It is entirely you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr choice as to whether or not you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp get break. If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp want break, do the work. If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp don’t want break, sit and chat.”
…can be used if they don’t settle straight away.
5. The Right Way To Ask For Silence
You may have been told that an alternative to shouting for silence is to simply wait for rowdy pupils to calm down.
And wait… And wait… And wait…
Teachers have mixed views as to the effectiveness of waiting for silence before continuing with the lesson because in many cases it just doesn’t work.
Some classes will respond positively to this strategy almost straight away but a hard class will test you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr mettle and try to push you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp way beyond 5 or 10 minutes.
They’ll enjoy watching you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr expression turn to desperation and laugh at the fact that you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr plan isn’t working.
At a time like this you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to bring in sanctions and make them see that their continuous disobedience will not be tolerated.
If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp have a strong, commanding voice you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can shout for quiet and explain what the sanctions will be if they continue talking. If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can’t be sure that you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr voice will cut through the noise sufficiently, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can communicate via the board by writing you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr instructions. Write up you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr instructions in bold, capital letters. You may need to give them slightly longer time to comply – allowing for the fact that they may not all read you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr instructions straight away.
This is what to say…
(You may think that these sanctions won’t work with you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr toughest class but they are phrased in a very specific manner as you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp’ll soon see. If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp rigorously and consistently apply them you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp will win. Your class will settle. I’ve never known it fail).
“If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp wish to continue talking during my lesson I will have to take time off you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp at break. By the time I‘ve written the title on the board you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to be sitting in silence. Anyone who is still talking after that will be kept behind for 5 minutes.”
Phrasing you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr instructions in this way when you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp want a class to be quiet is very powerful and almost always guarantees success.
Let’s examine why:
Firstly, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are being very fair and giving the pupils a warning…
“If you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp wish to continue talking during my lesson I will have to take time off you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp at break.”
When teachers try to issue a punishment without a warning…
“Right you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp’ve just lost you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr break!”
…they are often met with a torrent of abuse…
“No way, that’s not fair – we weren’t doing anything!!!”
I always find that giving pupils a fair warning about an impending sanction takes the sting out of a confrontational situation.
Secondly, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are telling them exactly what they are doing wrong, and exactly how to put it right…
“…you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to be sitting in silence.”
Thirdly, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are giving them a clear time by which you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp expect full compliance…
“By the time I‘ve written the title on the board you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to be sitting in silence.”
Fourthly, and very importantly, you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp are telling them exactly what will happen to them if they don’t do as you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp ask…
“Anyone who is still talking after that will be kept behind for 5 minutes.”
These key features are important if you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp want pupils to follow you中国福利彩票下载安装αppr instructions because they leave no room for questions, debates, arguments or confusion. The pupils know exactly what they’re doing wrong, what will happen if they continue and how to correct their behavior so as to evade a sanction.
N.B. I’m fully aware that timetable constraints do not allow teachers to keep pupils back after each and every lesson. For that reason you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp need to think about the sanctions you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp will issue. You could for example hit the class hard and tell them that any pupils still talking will receive a letter 中国福利彩票下载安装αpp but it may be better to start off with a small sanction (such as staying behind after school for 5 minutes) because you中国福利彩票下载安装αpp can then add to it if and when the behavior continues.