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Behavior: silence or indoor voice?

Date: April 12th, 2017
By: Polly Bath

Polly Bath: Is it reasonable for young child to be able to be silent in the classroom, to do their seat and center work, and then get up to transition to another location and be absolutely silent in the hall walking straight ahead?

No, it is not reasonable! It’s not reasonable! We taught them to speak. Some of them we even gave special services because they couldn’t speak. Now they speak and now we tell them to be quiet. To me it’s kind of, why?

If I want you to walk down the hall, I’m going to teach you a skill, the skill is going to be, “When you walk down the hall, make sure you have this much space between the two of you so you don’t bang into the person in front of you. Look at the doors. If there is a door open and the kids are really quiet at their desks, that’s when you don’t talk. If you’re walking down the hall and the doors are closed and you don’t see anybody, then you use your indoor voice, and you talk to one another.”

That’s OK. It’s actually teaching a skill.

We tend to get caught up in the all or nothing. It’s like when we walk down the hall our system is, everybody is quite and nobody says a word and their mouths are off. I don’t think that’s fair, especially for really little kids.