Calling all inner-city teachers! Opinion requested

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Katisop99, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. Katisop99

    Katisop99 Rookie

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    Nov 10, 2010

    I teach in an extremely poor and violent urban neighborhood. Most of my students are raised by single mothers, many of whom are younger than me (I am in my mid twenties). Most of my students are African American, but I have a few Latino students.

    I am very pleased to say that most of my class is extremely bright and hardworking. They know about 35 sight words so far (we've been in school since the beginning of August, so we've had an extra month) and many are doing addition and subtraction already. It is very exciting and I am very proud of what they have accomplished.

    BUT, and here is where I need some opinions, the class is very, VERY loud. When I do small groups, my students shout their answers in excitement. When they do their work, they TALK TALK TALK, but when I look at their writing, they are doing the assignment exactly as I requested and can explain their thought process.

    Since all the noise comes from excitement about learning, I don't really have a problem with it. I know that being loud is more acceptable in certain cultures than in others and I feel my classroom reflects my students' culture.

    Here is my question: Is this a bad thing? Are my standards too low? Does a quiet classroom mean for more efficiency and more learning? Or does it matter as long as they are learning?
     
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  3. newkteacherfl

    newkteacherfl Companion

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    Nov 11, 2010

    I teach in a very similar area, and my classroom is also loud. In my opinion, if the students are completing their work correctly, it doesn't matter if they are loud. They are obviously learning, so I wouldn't worry too much about the noise. Last year, we started working more quietly after the holiday break. This was more for their future first grade teachers than for me (the first grade teachers here work in silent classrooms :( ).
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Nov 11, 2010

    Loud is fairly normal in some cultures, yes, but that doesn't mean you can't teach them that there are times when it's better to have a softer voice. What about having one or two "activities" a day when one of your goals is to have quiet voices. Model the "six inch voice", and practice using it. When they start getting to loud, redirect them. They're not too young to start learning that there's a time and a place for everything. :)
     
  5. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    Nov 11, 2010

    I'd say it's the noise of learning. :) If it really bothers you, you could try to promote quieter talking without requiring silence.
     
  6. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Nov 17, 2010

    I normally don't mind if its meaningful conversation. But at the same time I also strongly encourage them to use a 3 inch voice so if they have friends who work better in the quiet they can respect them and their working style.
     
  7. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Nov 18, 2010

    I work in a poor, rural school fed by two tiny towns and the outlying areas with 85% free lunch. Many of the students live in public housing (yes there are public housing apartments even in small rural towns) and many live in mobile home parks. I have had extremely loud students, last year I had two competitors who vied for the loudest student title, so it seemed. One of them moved near the end of the year and the weird thing was the other student became quieter--I guess when there was no competition, there was no need. I have often wondered how poor rural towns and urban areas compare. I think that "public housing" along with the factors that play into poverty are the common threads. We also have major behavior issues with many of our students.
     

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