Tools for Teaching and Students Who Interrupt

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Myrisophilist, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Dec 30, 2013

    I'm reading parts of Tools for Teaching and it has prompted a question which I think some of you may be able to help me with: How do you respond to HS students who try to get your attention repeatedly, no matter what you are doing? It goes something like this -- I am talking to one student and a second student, either across the room or right next to me, starts in with, "Ms. Myri....Ms. Myri...MS. MYRI." Sometimes s/he will launch into the question without even waiting for my acknowledgement.

    My default response has been to ignore the interrupting student until I am 100% done with whoever I am currently speaking with. The interrupting student, more often than not, doesn't seem to care that s/he is being ignored and doesn't pick up on the fact that s/he is being rude. Hence, it happens again and again.

    How do you deal with this in your classroom?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Dec 30, 2013

    I ignore as a first step. If the behavior continues, I will look at the student and say something like, "Please wait. I'm busy right now talking to Susie. I'll come over and help you when I'm done." If the behavior continues after that, I will look at the student and say something like, "Stop. I am busy. Wait your turn."

    Many kids don't pick up on social cues and hints, especially when it comes to the rude things they're doing. If you don't tell them they're being rude or they need to wait, they might not ever figure it out. Time to take control and be the teacher.
     
  4. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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  5. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Dec 30, 2013

    Thanks for sharing this article. I don't have time to read it know, but just glancing at it seems like what I need for my 2nd graders.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Dec 31, 2013

    I chastise for being rude. I'll say "I'm busy with another student. Raise your hand and wait for me." I'll also use a tone that I use with my dogs when they get into the trash. It has the same effect :)
     
  7. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Dec 31, 2013

    A high school student should know that behavior is rude. There is no need to tell them. I like 2ndTime's advice, and if the interruption continued, I would follow the discipline plan for class disruptions.
     
  8. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Dec 31, 2013

    Thanks for sharing the article. This part addresses what I've been doing: "If a student interrupts, calls out, or stands in front of you repeating your name, don’t respond. Because for every time you do you create an avalanche of more of the same behavior."

    I could address the issue of interrupting with the whole class and explain why it's rude (and that it's like cutting in line).
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What students "should" know and what they actually "do" know are not always the same thing.

    I think that addressing the behavior as a class-wide thing is going to be pretty ineffective, or at least not as effective as addressing the behavior with the individual offenders. When you address behaviors like that to a whole group, no one thinks that they're the ones at fault. Furthermore, you build resentment in the students who do know how to act--no one wants to be reprimanded or have to listen to a lecture about something that they're not even doing wrong.
     
  10. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    I truly believe then they should be told to stop and then face consequences if the continue being disruptive. I also find it ridiculous that high schoolers have never been taught not to interrupt.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I think it depends on when and how you hold the whole class discussion. For instance, heading off the problem at the beginning of the year by explaining to students why it's rude to interrupt as part of your classroom procedures and rules probably won't be taken as a reprimand as it might be if you do it later in the year in response to behavior. Even presenting it as a scheduled classroom rehash of procedures may reduce the probability of it being seen as a reprimand. But I do agree that if a classroom discussion is held you should keep in mind those who do not need the instruction. In the case of one or two students I would pull them aside after class and after making it clear that you won't respond to interruptions in a positive way explain to them why it is rude to others and yourself when they interrupt and continuing to clarify that they will recieve a consequence.
     
  12. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    Jan 4, 2014

    They have been taught, but it does not mean in the very least that they will do what they have been taught (as far as behavior). Adults are 'taught' not to drink and drive and to always wear a seatbelt-many of us don't follow that learned behavior either. You may think they know but as a former principal once said: "Teenagers don't see past the end of their noses." Sometimes they just truly don't see the consequences to their actions. Granted, for the most part they do-and some don't care what they are-however, they aren't equipped with the "stuff" to think ahead more than a few days. Same reason many students wait until October of their Senior Year to start looking at colleges instead of Junior Year.
     
  13. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    I teach primary children, but I have found a very effective way to handle this.

    I say to the interrupter, "You see that I am speaking to Shikia now." I say it very respectfully, showing no annoyance at the interrupter, but rather simply letting them know.

    Every single time I have done this, the interrupter has waited respectfully until I have finished. The majority of students never interrupt again. There are a few who might (remember these are 8 year olds) but a repetition of the above scene usually cures it.

    Even an 8 year old knows that interrupting is rude. I don't need to tell them. I let them infer it, and since I have not shamed them or reprimanded them, they internalize it better. By doing this, I also model how to respectfully address an interruption.

    The next time they raise their hand and wait for me, I am sure to thank them for their patience and good manners.
     

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