Last year I used the above phrase, or something similar to it, on a regular basis in my class. Mainly because the kids never stopped talking. Or moving. Ever. Threats didn’t work. Bribery didn’t work. Consequences didn’t work. Standing on my head to get their attention didn’t work. Occasionally, I would just throw up my hands with a loud sigh and mumble (more to myself than the class) “Please stop talking.”
One of my particularly precocious students picked up on this and made a song about me to the tune of “What Does the Fox Say?” But her version was, “What does Ms. Evans say? Please stop talking, please stop talking, please stop talking…” You get the point. It was amusing, and you’d think the student would have gained a pearl of wisdom from writing that song… but it never stopped this particular kid from talking incessantly. Or any of the rest of them.
Today, I had a similar experience. Instead of teaching my beloved 2nd graders, I was put into a 3rd grade class at the last minute. I had taught this 3rd grade class before and they are terrific. But… well… they never stop talking. Ever. Especially the boys. Some of them? Oh my goodness… Zero control of their oral cavity. Their mouths just go and go and go and go and they blurt every single stinkin’ thought that enters their mind. I mean, it’s cute and amusing one on one, but when you’re trying to teach a math lesson and it’s constant, “One time this summer… Ooh! A bird!…. Do teachers fart?…. Know what I had for lunch today?… Math is weird… I have a dog named lady… My sister is dumb…”
At least half the boys in the class had this blurting problem. I probably reminded them a dozen times to RAISE THEIR FREAKIN’ HANDS. And the poor things had zero control of their bodies. They couldn’t just walk down the hall. No. They had to flail their arms about, kick their legs as if independent from their bodies, walk backwards, run full speed to the destination, dance, jig, waltz, and rumba no matter where we were going. I had to stop them at least 57 times on the way to music with constant reminders to control their bodies and mouths. I was exhausted after 3 and half hours with them. I mean… they have half an hour for recess. They had 2 specialties today. Apparently, the pent up energy isn’t getting spent. I would assume this is pretty typical for boys this age but… being a girl… I just don’t get it. I just want them to sit quietly like their female counterparts. Is that too much to ask?
Next time I have them, I’m giving them movement breaks every 10 minutes. I’m not kidding. Because apparently, that’s what it takes to get them to stay still for five minutes at a time.
I’m going to take a nap now.