The English Teacher

Controlling Excessive Talking

One day I was telling a sophomore student to stop talking. She had talked consistently, and there were words coming out of her mouth when I told her to stop talking. She was honestly indignant when she replied 'I'm not talking!'

I went home that night and thought 'I'm not communicating.' Then I sat down and wrote a list showing what I meant by not talking. Now at the beginning of the school year when going over class rules, I refer to the stop talking list on the wall. I can watch the students go down the list and see the 'talkers' try to find a missing category that allows them a reason to talk when they wish.

Later in the school year when I have persistent talkers, I hand them a fine pointed permanent marker and have them write these rules on the inside front or inside back of their English notebook. They seldom have to write the list on more than one cover. I feel too, that if writing it twice doesn't help, then stronger means are needed. [See the discipline strategies page.]

BTW- When the student who 'inspired' this list became a senior and visited me, I asked her to autograph her list. I had the list laminated, and it works fine years later.

                   STOP TALKING

          Doesn't mean to:

1. Keep talking
2. Answer a friend's question
3. Answer someone's question
4. Ask a question
5. Stop chattering and talk about important 
   things instead
6. Ask what day it is
7. Ask what grade you're getting
8. Talk to yourself
9. Argue

          It means to:

          WORK, LISTEN, and THINK

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