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Joshua Mugg

A friend gave me this suggestion he learned at teacher's college for chatting students during a lecture time (about 1/2 of my lower-level classes): First, as you are lecturing, just lecture while looking in their direction. That generally stops the chatter. If it doesn't, then (second) move slightly closer to the student. Finally, you can physically put a hand on the desk in front of the student.

The idea is to avoid a direct confrontation ("hey you, stop talking!"). The goal here is to use social ques instead.

Throwaway Name

When I was a freshman, a professor once asked me to stay after class. She explained to me that I was being rude. I think I was cracking jokes instead of taking her and the class seriously. I was mortified because I genuinely didn't realize that what I was doing wasn't appreciated. I'd like to think that this radically changed my behavior in my college courses from that day forward.

I do the same thing in my classes now. Ask students to speak with me after class and tell them directly that their behavior is unacceptable and that they aren't welcome back if they don't fix it. Every time I have done this, the student has been very apologetic and corrected the problem.


"I have in mind primarily the sleepers, the constant chatters, and those who refuse to engage even when called upon."

I think that if they need to sleep that much they might be best served by continuing to sleep!

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