Top 3 Ways To Quieten A Loud Classroom
Maintaining quiet and order in the classroom is one of the most challenging aspects of teaching today. Striking a balance between allowing students the freedom to express themselves and respecting the needs of other students by not engaging in disruptive behaviour is vital if a teacher is to create a productive learning environment.
Set the Standard
Have you noticed how some teachers automatically command respect and attention from students, while others struggle to even get themselves heard? It’s no accident that students quieten down and pay attention when a respected teacher enters the room.
Students have a kind of radar when it comes to detecting the tolerance and control of the teacher. In order for teachers to first get and then keep the respect of their students, they need to set the standard of accepted behaviour from the first day.
Have classroom rules written out and pinned somewhere prominent so all students can see them. Establish rules regarding speaking and listening so students know when they’re allowed to talk and when they’re expected to listen.
Establish consequences that arise from misbehaviour. If students speak out of turn, or disrupt the work of others, there must be a price to pay. Never deviate from the set consequences. The rules must be obeyed at all times, by both student and teacher.
Above all, never lose your temper or show signs of frustration. Teachers develop their own favourite methods over time, but those you can try include waiting for the class to quieten. Just stand in front and wait, watching them with a stern expression. It may take ten minutes or more, but hold your ground. Eventually they’ll wonder what you’re doing and give you the attention you need. Another way is to simple raise your finger to your lips and shush them. Walk around the classroom doing this if you need to. The important thing to remember is to never engage in a shouting match.
Let Students Know What Is Expected
If poor or noisy behaviour is tolerated on a regular basis, students come to believe that’s the way they can always behave in that class. When they’re expected to enter and leave the classroom quietly and remain attentive throughout the lesson, that’s what they do.
Generally speaking, they will give you what you want providing that you, as the teacher, make it clear. Define your boundaries and tell students how to behave. Maybe you want them to raise their hands before speaking or you’d like them to learn not to interrupt. Perhaps you want them to speak only when called upon to do so. Setting the standard of expected behaviour puts boundaries in place and most students will strive to deliver what is expected of them.
Sometimes getting away from the traditional seating in classrooms can help a teacher maintain control. Not all classrooms lend themselves to furniture movement, as laboratory design, for example tends to be static. However, if you have moveable tables and chairs, try arranging them in groups, a horseshoe formation or turned in towards each other.
Sometimes a little creativity is needed, but just changing one or two things in the classroom can catch disruptive students on the hop and give you the upper hand along with the opportunity to take back the initiative.
This guest post has been contributed by Zoe, a blogger and freelance writer with a keen interest in academia and education. She is writing on behalf of Innova Solutions.