Sign In
Sign In
Register for Free

Behaviour management strategies – No chatting

Photo of a teenage boy with his hand over his mouth

Allowing students some idle chatter in lessons might seem fair, but you’re far better off stamping it out completely…

Robin Launder
by Robin Launder
DOWNLOAD A FREE RESOURCE! Bumper Lesson Plan Templates Pack

I’m often asked how much chatting is acceptable in class. The answer is simple – none.

Work-related talking is another matter, since that’s an explicitly sanctioned learning approach used for certain activities, but don’t allow casual chats. Why? Because ‘No chatting’ is a legitimate boundary. It’s a clear boundary, and an enforceable boundary.

You are in the classroom to teach. Your students are in the classroom to learn. Chatting gets in the way of both, so not allowing it is a legitimate boundary – and it quickly becomes clear when that boundary has been broken.

If you’re a teacher who believes a little bit of chatting is okay, ask yourself – when does ‘a little’ chatting become too much? Where’s the line, and how will students know when they’ve crossed it?

If that boundary is left vague, students will likely get away with chatting until the teacher’s had enough – at which point, the teacher shushes them.

Thanks to that vague boundary, though, the silence won’t last long – resulting in further chatter, more shushing, and repeat. It’s a tedious pattern that’s easily avoided if the classroom expectation is that of ‘no chatting’.

Robin Launder (@BehaviourBuddy) is a behaviour management consultant and speaker; find more tips in his weekly Better Behaviour online course – for more details, visit

You might also be interested in...