Recently I’ve been thinking about how silent a class is. I reckon there are two types of silence: hardworking busy bees with all pupils engaged in a task that requires independent focus and stunned silence, either through boredom or lack of engagement.
On the flip side, there’s also a variety of noises in the classroom that are not silence: focused and directed conversations with a partner or in small groups, mindless chitchat over nothing, distracted chit chat which grows into low level disruption etc.
I am sure that there are plenty of other types that I have not touched upon but the biggest realisation I’ve had over the last few weeks whilst observing colleagues is that actually I like a low hum of activity in my classrooms and absolute silence has it’s place when I need to give direct instruction or pull a class back together after a non-silent activity.
How do you feel about silence? Does it have a big place in your classroom?