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    noise control
    By Alicia Duncan

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    OH, the Noise Headache! Boy do I understand.

    When I first started teaching I would come home everyday with a horrible headache. My district allows new teachers to visit expereinced teacher's classrooms, so I took advantage.

    I visited an early elementary teacher's class who was nominated for Teacher of the Year. She was amazing. She never entered into the "loud competion" with the kids.
    She had some of those great techniques: a hand signal, some tiny wind chimes, song singing etc. But the one thing she never did was try to out yell the kids. Sometimes she would let them talk to neighbors and it would get noisy. If she wanted to speak, she would WAIT until it was quiet, thanking children who were attentive and listening. Then when she spoke, she kept her voice quite quiet but rather intense. Even I was on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was said.

    It was very powerful and changed the way I taught. In a nut shell: their volum is (sometimes) a reflection of your volume. If it's too loud - speak quietly to them.
    And if someone interrupts, stop dead in your sentence (this always gets attention) and look at the child until they see you, then thank them for being quiet. Continue speaking...quietly.

    It's hard, but it has worked for me for over 7 years!

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