I know you think when I tell a classroom full of students to be quiet that I’m not talking to you.
I know you think that the conversation you’re having is more important than the instruction to be quiet that I just gave.
I know you think that whatever it is you’re saying is vitally important in this moment.
I know you think the rules don’t apply to you.
I know you think that your talking doesn’t affect anyone other than yourself and the person you’re talking to.
But you’re wrong.
When I address a room, and you’re in it, I’m talking to you.
When I tell the class to be quiet, and you’re talking, I’m talking to you.
I’m talking to you right now.
Even if you’re not close to me, I can both see and hear you.
You. Yes, you. Stop talking. I’m looking directly at you. I have called your name. I am clearly talking to you. Stop.
When I instruct the class, everyone needs to hear me, and that can’t happen if you think that you are outside of the rules and that your talking doesn’t affect anyone.
It affects everyone.
It slows everyone in class down.
People miss instructions.
I have to repeat instructions.
And it’s bad for my personal sanity.
Are we all clear here?
Because if we’re not, I can explain further and more explicitly.
Again I ask, are we all clear here?
I need an audible assent from the room.
Good. Now we can move on.