Do you talk too much?

14th November 2011  |  by Greg

(This post will only take two or three minutes to read.)

Earlier in my teaching career, you couldn’t shut me up. I equated lots of talking to lots of teaching. I wasn’t really concerned with my main role – facilitating learning.

As my career has progressed, I do much less talking. When speaking to the whole class, I use as few words as possible in any given lesson because I don’t want to use them up. There really is a limit to the amount of information students glean from these lectures. (By the way, I don’t limit the amount of conversations I have with individuals or groups – that’s different.)

“If you don’t ration your intervention, what you say evaporates.”                 Alex Ferguson

I also make sure I save my words for VITPs or Very Important Teaching Points. It’s so easy to waste them on housekeeping and homework instructions etc.

The other thing I’ve started doing is letting my classes know how long I’m going to speak for. If I tell my classes that I’m only gong to talk for two minutes, they are much more likely to hold their attention for that long. I also manage to avoid one of the classic bahaviour management pitfalls – I don’t expect pupils to listen to me for too long.

Thanks for your three minutes.


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