It is very frustrating when there's lots of off-task chatter in your classroom. You want the students to get on with their work, but they are more interested in talking about their social lives. This kind of low level misbehaviour is tricky to deal with, and there's no point in getting into a confrontation about it. But there are plenty of techniques you can use to minimise the impact.
To deal with a group of chatty students, especially girls:
- Look for the positive in the situation; at least your chatty students are joining in, albeit not in the right way. By redirecting their energy into their work, you'll make the most of their enthusiastic personalities.
- Ration your attention; when a student is doing the right thing, give her lots of attention and praise. Add warmth and pleasure to your tone of voice, and make it clear that you're happy with what the student doing.
- But when the student not behaving as you wish, remove your attention, go cold, using your voice and behaviour to show that you're displeased or disappointed.
- Talk about the behaviour you do want to see, rather than noting what's going wrong. Highlight positive, on-task behaviour with plenty of praise.
- Sometimes, allow for a little bit of personal interaction, reveal a little bit about yourself and your life outside of school. Give the students an insight into the real you. This works especially well with older students, it helps build positive relationship between you.
More about this issue
- Watch the full programme
- Further related programmes:
- Visit the Behaviour Hub to find out more on related issues