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Silence

 

Disciplines > Teaching > Classroom management > Silence

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Stand in front of the class and say nothing. Wait for silence in return.

You can start by saying something like 'Can I have your attention, please!' Then stand and wait.

When you do this first time, be prepared for a long wait. It can take 10 or 20 minutes or a whole lesson, but it is surprising how often this is an effective method.

There is a point where you may have to break your silence and act, for example if students are harming one another or damaging the room.

This method is best when the students are simply talking and not paying attention to you.

Whilst it is generally best not to play staring games, you can let your firm gaze range across the class.

Always have a backup strategy when doing this. If you decide to stop your silent vigil, then you must have consequences ready that will make them think again before out-waiting you.

Do not get angrier as you wait. Just wait. Think about the lesson, if you like.

Example

Right, listen up...

... Thank you. Today, we are going to look at...

Discussion

This method can require a lot of confidence and a certain amount of courage, particularly as the time wears on. Ten minutes like this can seem like ten hours!

Standing is better than sitting, as you are less visible to those further back in the class.

See also

Using Pauses

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