Whispering and Texting

(And that’s just the teachers……)

We can learn a lot from 5 year-olds. Due to being in an environment of predominantly 14 – 19 year olds (and adult learners) it’s easy to forget the easy, no-nonsense honesty that comes from these younger students. So when I observed a child asking a teacher why they were using their phone when in class, it struck a chord with me.

And I’ll tell you why.

I am regularly in ‘class’ with a room full of teachers. You’d be surprised how many of them talk over me, use their phones arbitrarily, whisper to each other, and are generally off-task at times.

Why do you think this happens? Well I’m aware that sometimes it’s a test; “What will she do” or “How will she deal with it”…. but it’s genuinely an interesting scenario, given that this low-level disruption is the one topic that I am asked about the most.

So last week when one of the experienced trainers in my team told me that a couple of teachers in her training room had been ruder than her own students usually are, I was flummoxed. Why didn’t she intervene, where were the tactics?

Her response was that she really hadn’t expected to have to deal with behaviour of this kind when working with teachers on training programmes. Her experience was zero and that while she was highly trained in classroom management strategies with students, she was unprepared to take on behaviour management amongst teaching staff.

This takes me back to the 5 year old who, with bravery and honesty, was passing back the rule that the teacher himself had instilled. There is no argument against it.

So my message is, why do we find it so difficult to follow through on the basic classroom rules of courtesy when it’s an adult?

Please leave me your comments below, I can’t wait to read them.


PS I’ll let you into the secret, I tend to walk over to where the whispering is taking place and stay put for a few minutes. Or pause, or sit on the edge of the desk and carry on talking.  But I’m going to up my game…..