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Achieving a quiet working "buzz".

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  • Achieving a quiet working "buzz".

    Returning to supply (Primary) after a good few years out of the classroom, I am finding it hard to get that quiet working buzz. I don't want to try to enforce silence, it is so hard to do anyway. The noise level seems to accelerate far too fast and I find myself too often having to repeat "shh, too noisy" or whatever and then deal with the ever helpful assistant voices repeating "shh!". It is hard to know of course what the normal expectation is of that class when I am there for just a single day or even half day. What good strategies do people have to achieve a quiet "buzz"? Today's y6 were particularly hard.

  • #2
    I mainly work with littlies and this might be no good further up in KS2, but I set my expectations and give praise to those who are doing as I ask - and usually it spreads. I give little rewards/certificates/verbal praise to the particularly quiet - catching them at it! After all, even though you may only be there for a day, you're the boss! I have also done things like take music to maintain a peaceful mood, but mainly I find it's about starting as you mean to go on, and being consistent. If you can get them to listen when you're marking the register/they're lining up for assembly/on carpet chances are the "buzz" will follow. I also have a verbal command if things get too noisy with little ones - "Stop what you are doing and show me two empty hands" - get their full attention and remind them of noise level.

    As I say, others with more experience in KS2 will have a say for older kids.

    I have also had my time out of the classroom, and it took me a while to remember it's not me, when things are difficult, sometimes, no matter what you try. A of weeks ago I had a nightmare class, who just would not behave, let alone achieve a quiet working "buzz", even after the intervention of head and deputy on separate occasions, and afterwards they told me the class was a challenging one, particularly for supply teachers! I think a lot of supply teachers beat ourselves up needlessly about noise; as long as you're doing your best, and you have success with most of the classes you have then don't worry too much about others.

    Hope this helps

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    • #3
      I prefer to teach older KS2 and when it's a new class, I go in and 'spit nails'. I don't care what's been left for them for early work. I normally have a set of keep quiet worksheets which gives me time to take stock, and get my head around planning and get real with them. I carry this on for a good while cos I know the teacher would rather have some of the objectives met than a class in bits when they get back.

      I also use something to draw their attention to me rather than shouting cos that sets em up do to the same. Stickers, group awards, are the girls better than the girls, emotional blackmail anything!!

      Keep those nails coming out for a long time and good luck. You'll need it especially with Y6 cos they have attitude and mainly gits.

      Joan x

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      • #4
        It sounds like you do the same sort of things as me Joan, but basically more intense! As long as you're firm about what's ok from the outset then that's what counts!

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        • #5
          Hi Aitch!

          I think it's hard these days to get that, and I tend not to ask for it... They're so often made to work in groups, with talk partners, critical friends etc. that I'm sure they're loosing the ability to work alone!

          I focus instead on what's being said, make sure it's quality discussion... give them some key vocab that you want to hear on your way round the classroom maybe?

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          • #6
            Thanks all - I have a choice in the same school tomorrow of Y3 or Y5, as my husband & I have both been booked to go there quite coincidentally! Not sure which to go with to be honest!

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            • #7
              My fav of the two is Y5... Have a lovely day whichever!

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              • #8
                LOL I would just say NO!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Aitch View Post
                  Returning to supply (Primary) after a good few years out of the classroom, I am finding it hard to get that quiet working buzz. I don't want to try to enforce silence, it is so hard to do anyway. The noise level seems to accelerate far too fast and I find myself too often having to repeat "shh, too noisy" or whatever and then deal with the ever helpful assistant voices repeating "shh!". It is hard to know of course what the normal expectation is of that class when I am there for just a single day or even half day. What good strategies do people have to achieve a quiet "buzz"? Today's y6 were particularly hard.

                  It's the silent pregnant pauses that worry me. You know the feeling when suddenly everything goes quiet and people start looking around cos of the silence

                  Joan x

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                  • #10
                    Well, it was fine! Hubby had been allocated the Y5, and me the Y3 so we went with that. The Y3s were very sweet indeed and we had a great day. Hubby ended up with the short straw - that Y5 have a "reputation"! To add to that he was in the IT room for the afternoon doing research with them and due to an update the previous night the system kept crashing and he had to take them back to the classroom - of course they were not happy, and it was Friday afternoon.....

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                    • #11
                      LOL! Glad at least you had a lovely day! Poor hubby... you'll have to make him breakfast in bed tomorrow to make up for it!

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                      • #12
                        Welcome to the forum Aitch, glad that you had a good day (poor OH though). Enjoy supply

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                        • #13
                          Just looked in here becuase of the thread title. My quiet working buzz is the tinnitus I have after covering a class of year ones who have a shouty teacher and very shouty TA. Both nice women I'm sure but bloody hell is it hard to teach a class where the kids yell at you and expect to be yelled at back!

                          Hays recommend no shouting. I try not to because,unlike the CT/TA, if I lose my voice I won't get any sick pay.

                          So, apropos of nothing but the thread title - MY POOR LITTLE EARS ARE RINGING

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                          • #14
                            Awww!

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                            • #15
                              I try to get classes to be quiet by being quiet myself and I stick to this come hell or high water. Unfortunately, these days children expect to shout and be shouted at. Catching children co-operating or working is usually good, if you are not distracted by the noisy individuals.

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