“Talking out” in class is a common problem for all schools and for all teachers. By “talking out” we mean not only giving the answer without raising hands, but also the blurting out of comments directed toward the teacher or even fellow students. The teacher may be addressing a particular student’s question or observation, and many students think that it is legitimate to add their bit of “wisdom.” It often happens because students do not understand their place, nor do they understand how conversations ought to work. As a result, this is draining to teachers who continually have to redirect this kind of behavior.
Part of the solution to this is for parents to recognize this behavior at home. Children do not need to raise their hand at home, so here are some things to look for:
1. In the car, how many conversations are going on at once? Are we training children to listen to conversations, or are they sitting waiting for a break in the conversation before they put in their two cents.
2. Are we training children to prefer others before themselves? Do they remember to use “please” and “thank you?” This is training children to recognize other people in their world as valuable.
3. Is there a TV or some other screen device on 24/7 in the background of their lives? This trains children to NOT listen carefully to people who are talking.
4. Do you have to call your child’s name more than once before he or she responds? Do general instructions fall on deaf ears? Is this training “selective hearing?” If you whisper “ice cream” and they respond, then you know that their hearing is not the problem!
Teaching our children to have this outlook of preferring others instead of self in conversations will help them to see that the world is not about them. Teachers will still need to remind children to not talk, but the Proverbs reminds us that listening is LIFE!