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Children who try to engage you in conversation when teaching

(14 Posts)
winterswan Sat 28-Nov-15 13:52:35

Hello. Does anybody have a student like this (year 9?)

She sits at the front and will try to talk to me as I start the lesson by telling me something she did at the weekend, what she's getting for Christmas, something her dog did ... These stories are inevitably long and involved and I try to cheerily divert her with 'ooh, sounds lovely, but finish telling me later!' but it is as if she is oblivious and just follows me around with 'miss, miss ...'

She also constantly cuts into and across other students - one boy was trying to tell me he wouldn't be in the next day due to a hospital appointment and she cut right across him to tell me that she had to go into hospital.

I get pinned down at the end of the lesson and on break duty too!

I don't want to get irritated with her but how can you tell a child to be quiet!

PreAdvent13610 Sat 28-Nov-15 13:55:21

My son used to this in lesson and assembly. He is ASD. Does she show many other signs?

winterswan Sat 28-Nov-15 13:57:45

I don't think she has ASD but she is very vulnerable and has been a victim of bullying in the past.

PreAdvent13610 Sat 28-Nov-15 14:01:31

Can you get ALS support.
She has signs social anxiety, that 'I have a hospital visit too' is like a cry of 'I need more attention', not possible for you to give unaided.

winterswan Sat 28-Nov-15 14:05:13

Yes, she's desperately in need of attention and has low self esteem. I don't of course wish to make this worse by telling her abruptly to be quiet!

I'm assuming 'ALS' is 'additional learning support' - one of the few acronyms in teaching I haven't previously encountered! - do you mean in the form of a TA? We have hardly any TAs at the moment and in a way I think it would be quite disruptive as she would talk constantly to the TA!

DoreenLethal Sat 28-Nov-15 14:07:56

Mine try to do this midway through a piece of info that I am telling them - it is a common diversionary tactic...our methodology is to say 'is this anything to do with X [the lesson today] >shake of head< in that case tell me after the lesson is over.

timelytess Sat 28-Nov-15 14:09:54

Move her to the side.
Be firm about leaving on time - 'I have to go now, its break' and go out, locking the door.
Can she have a doodle sheet while she works? It will distract her from talking to you, hopefully.

winterswan Sat 28-Nov-15 14:12:18

I think it's the attention she wants, not the distraction smile I'm just going to have to be firmer about shutting her up! I want to keep her at the front, ideally, due to instances of bullying and much as I'd love to say it wouldn't happen in my classroom I know how subtle and underhand it can be sometimes.

Arfarfanarf Sat 28-Nov-15 14:15:43

can you give her jobs to do? To 'help' you? Can she have responsibilities that keep her busy at times when she would seek you out and which you could praise her for?

Instead of saying tell me later, say to her this is X lesson now and we need to get on with Y work now. You can tell me about this at such and such a time (if you have a small amount of time you can allocate to her?)

Is there a school counsellor she can have sessions with? Or a social club she could join that meets at breaks?

Could you rearrange the seats so that she isn't at the front?

And if she does interrupt someone then I think it's important to say no, X, Y was speaking, we don't interrupt. Because she isn't the only student and they all matter and it isn't nice for the others to not get to speak because she wants to be the focus. You have to balance all their needs.

Arfarfanarf Sat 28-Nov-15 14:16:14

xpost about your reasons for keeping her at the front, sorry.

IguanaTail Sat 28-Nov-15 14:37:52

Explain to her privately that the time you have in class is quite limited so it's not the right place to share stories. Say you're interested in what she has to say though, and set aside a time to talk to her for 10 mins a week, just before the end of lunch, so you know it won't go over. Then when she starts, say to her with a smile "share it with me on Tuesday!" or whenever it is.

If she doesn't come on Tuesday then that's up to her - you've offered the time. If she says she forgot can she come Wednesday just reiterate "Tuesday's the day, don't worry, I'll be able to catch up next Tuesday instead"

clam Sun 29-Nov-15 16:16:12

Hmm, I too am wondering if there are some additional needs at play here, as most children probably grow out of this at around Year 4.

leccybill Fri 04-Dec-15 22:14:44

Have taught plenty of kids in Year 8/9/10 who do this. Some are completely NT and genuinely just want to share stories with you and natter on, in a good natured way. A doodle sheet sounds like an excellent idea.

MooPointCowsOpinion Sun 06-Dec-15 23:48:17

I have so many kids in year 7, 8 and 9 like this. I try different things for different kids. One has a stack of post its and she writes me a note. One I have a hand signal for, to remind her to get back to work.

Every single class I teach though gets 'downtime' which is really relationship building time, with me and each other. I don't care if they're 14, they still need help talking positively with each other.

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