The kids in my classes NEVER seem to stop talking! We never have complete silence. It seems that the best I can hope for is to have only ONE conversation going while I'm trying to teach, but it's usually two or three... Every once in a while, it seems as if they are getting settled a bit and then someone will start tapping a desk, rapping under his breath, etc. My students are just loud. My department head is a big proponent of Ruby Payne's Understanding Poverty and says they are loud because they come from poverty. This may be true - I think 90% of our students are economically disadvantaged - but I still need to be able to teach. And his students are not loud like this, but he teaches upper grade classes and has been teaching FOREVER. He taught the parents of most of his students. He doesn't seem to think it's a big deal that my students are so chatty. Our administration says to document everything before calling a parent or doing an office referral. The problem is that no particular person does anything that is really bad enough to catch my attention, at least nothing that makes me think I should make a note of it for later, in case I need to call a parent or do a referral to the office. I'm usually too busy trying to stay on track with the lesson. I am coming from private school background, so I really am in somewhat of a culture shock. Am I expecting too much? Do you think it's true that poor children are simply unable to contain themselves in a classroom setting? I think this sounds simplistic and patronizing. Do any of you teach in similar environments? Is it ever really silent?