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Substitute Teacher – Dealing With Classroom "Chatter"

Substitute Teacher – Dealing With Classroom "Chatter"2012-09-24T01:27:28+00:00

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    Hopefully someone can give me some advice here…

    I am a substitute teacher (been out of work as a regular teacher for 3 years now due to the economy). All too often, the teacher I’m subbing for will have the students work on independent work or group projects while they’re gone. This is fine…except for the fact that all the chatter in the classroom tends to overwhelm my ADD! It’s to the point where I can barely function at the end of the school day and I need to go home and sit in silence for the rest of the afternoon.

    Does anybody have any ideas how to handle these situations??? Thanks!


    Post count: 146

    I’m not a teacher but too much activity or noise either at work or some social situations does get to me at times. I have often gone home to find my brain buzzing and at one point would self medicate with a glass of wine. It was ok at first but since I didn’t really understand my ADHD it became a bit too much and started to cause me problems.

    I tend to be pretty social person and I have a large group of friends that like to get together for Dinner parties a lot. There are some who as the evening goes on and get a few drinks in them get really, really loud. Then the rest of the voices go up. It took me a long time to realize that too much noise and activity overloads my senses. It’s like someone coming up to you and grabbing you by the shoulders and shaking you back and forth. So I have to get to a quiet area for a while or sit with quieter ones of the group. I’ve explained to them that right now I’m in system overload and I will be back in a few. Sometimes I just say I have to go and get something I left in my car or I have to get something out of the other room. If I don’t I can be snarky and sometimes get a bit brisk. But I’ve come to realize now it’s just my brain saying too much input, too much input.

    Often I pace how many noisy type situations or areas I go to. So I can have some balance.

    But back to your situation. I do know a teacher with ADD that has certain processes in place. I don’t remember the specifics. But she has explained some of the things to her class in a way with out exactly saying she has ADD. But being a substitute teacher that may not be possible. So I offer up things I have tried like going to a quite area for a few moments just to let my brian relax. I don’t think wearing ear plugs or putting on the headphones would work as some of us do in offices. I would think you have to keep aware of the kids in the class room.

    Or maybe at the end of the day before going home go for a short walk or sit in a park or pleasant place where you don’t have to talk to anyone to let your mind calm down. And take some deep breaths. I mention to do this before going home because if your over loaded it’s really easy to walk in the door and just collapse. I’ve done that a lot when I worked in a really busy office. Or sometimes I just stay in my yard and pull a few weeds or putter around to decompress. You have to let your brain have a chance to settle down and them reboot after a day with high noise levels and actives.

    My other suggestion would be a few minuets of mediation or some type of mediative activity. For me it’s gardening and some yard puttering or just looking at things in nature and not having to think about the day I just had. Still working on a mediation routine for myself but when I can do it it does help.

    Hope this helps and your not alone in that.


    Post count: 146


    Since my friends all know me and that I’m not being rude (I hope they know) I recently said to one of the loud talkers that if you sit by me you will have to lower your voice and if can’t do that you may want to sit somewhere else or I will have to punch you.

    I did say it in a nice tone of voice. To which she replied oh you know I can’t do that so I better go sit over there. I’m blessed to have a group of friends who don’t get easily offended. Probably why we’re all part of the group of friends we are in. Some of us are not that user friendly for the outside world.


    Post count: 802

    It’s difficult when you’re substituting because the kids don’t know you that well and I found it difficult to get the same rapport with them – but I’d try to ask them to separate their work into group chat, pair chat, silent work, pair chat, silent work, etc – ie structured periods without noise in the room.

    Or I’d allow quiet chatter with the understanding that if it got too loud it would revert to silent study.

    Difficult with substitute classes but it’s all I’ve got I’m afraid! Sorry!

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