Teaching is my passion! I feel the need to start off by saying that because I am surrounded by people that like to teach, but it's not their passion. They often say things to me about the time I spend preparing my lessons. I take pride in what I create. My goal is to engage every type of student every single day no matter what specific topic I'm presenting to them. That means my class has to be fun...and sometimes...having fun is loud.
My classroom is noisy. As a first year teacher, I remember so many mentor teachers drilling how important having perfect classroom management was. It stressed me out. Every day I thought I had these great lessons prepared but I was so afraid of the noise level that I knew my students weren't fully engaged. I even had nightmares about being evaluated by administration and none of my students would quiet down. This was serious! I actually had an administrator tell me that I said "SHHHH" twelve times during one observation my first semester in the classroom. WOW! I had been cursed by the ineffective first year "Shoooooshing" strategy.
I decided from that day on that I would no longer care about the noise level in my classroom as long as students were learning. Educators like to call this "controlled chaos". My students know that in my class, they will have the opportunity to make noise, move around, compete, think out loud, participate in discussions, and be heard. My classroom management has never been better. If you keep students busy bell-to-bell with fun, engaging activities, your relationship with them will develop. Having students relationships is the number one key to successful classroom management.
I recently had my students practice the scientific method by making home-made duck calls. Yes, it was loud. Yes, I heard more than 120 students' duck calls by the end of the day. Yes, you could say it was annoying. But, I knew they were all practicing forming hypotheses, identifying variables, and writing scientific conclusions in the process. So...noise is okay! Click on the picture "A Duck Call Experiment" or click HERE to see the lesson.