A sign of busy and engaged kids or a sign of poor management?
I feel conflicted...
When I witness my students chatting away during their morning work or getting excited during lessons and calling out, I feel like they are engaged and feel comfortable being themselves in my classroom.
I like that.
Yet, I also feel like sometimes there is this expectation for "quiet working" that makes me feel like any time my kiddos are being a bit chatty that my classroom might appear chaotic or not "calm" and "well behaved" enough.
I visited a classroom last year and the kids were SO quiet...I got kind of jealous thinking how come I don't have that level of control in my room.
On the other hand...don't I want my kids to use language in the room, make friends, and talk to their peers? I don't want them to be mute and afraid to communicate.
I feel like there are so many times during the day when I am asking students to turn their voices off that it seems like there are just not as many times when they can talk freely or express themselves on a whim. We have been trying very hard to work on inside voices and whisper voices because I want to encourage them to talk, yet at the same time, I don't like when the noise level gets too high. I don't want silence, but I do want quiet enough for kids to be able to think and do their best work.
What do you think? Are we asking kids to be too quiet too often setting an unreasonable expectation or do you have a super quiet classroom that's serene like a yoga room?
As a school we have been focusing a lot on active engagement which means the kiddos should be talking, using language, practicing vocabulary, and not just being quiet. Yet, of course there are those times when you do truly want silence and that can be hard to come by.
Where's the balance?