How To Stop Excessive Talking

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“My students are social butterflies.”

“Chatting is their learning style.”

“They’re an expressive, creative bunch.”

These statements and others like them are said as way of explanation. They are the reasons given for why the teacher is frequently interrupted.

—And why the class is so noisy.

They’re spoken of as fact, as if there is little the teacher can do about it. It’s also why it continues to happen.

You see, whatever misbehavior you justify, you accept. If you view talking instead of listening or focusing on work as just who your students are, then it will never stop.

Because you’re removing your power to do anything about it.

Here at SCM, we believe that the entire premise that students are just the way they are, no matter the behavior, is hogwash. You decide how our students behave, not the other way around.

The truth is, the statements above are said by teachers who don’t know what to do about it. So they make excuses. They write it off as out of their control.

But like every area of classroom management, eliminating unwanted talking is simply a function of knowledge. It’s a matter of knowing what to do and then doing it.

That’s it.

In the case of talking, the solution is as follows:

Step 1 – Define when it isn’t allowed.

Step 2 – Explain why it isn’t allowed.

Step 3 – Model what silence does and doesn’t look like.

Step 4 – Show, by way of your CM Plan, what will happen if the rule is broken.

Step 5 – Enforce.

It’s important to point out that it’s your commitment to your students and protecting their right to learn without interference – as well as your belief in them – that empowers everything you say and do.

When you know your approach is right and best for them, and you know you won’t accept anything less, then your students will know it too. They’ll hear it in your voice and see it on your face. They’ll feel it in the air and experience it in your consistency.

It can’t be faked, nor can it be denied. They’ll believe it, accept it, and buy in.

Talking when your students are supposed to be listening or working independently is not “just who they are.” It’s not a learning style or a personality trait. It’s not a cutesy social quirk or an acceptable excuse.

It’s how you’ve allowed them to be.

PS – My new book Inspire will be available on October 4th.

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