General Question

tranquilsea's avatar

Is repeatedly telling a child to shut up an appropriate way to address chattiness in a class?

Asked by tranquilsea (17756points) December 7th, 2010

I, personally, find shut up bordering on abuse. Especially, in a teaching situation. There are a few other things I would do in that situation that include asking the child to be quiet, making the child sit next to me or asking the child to wait outside the room until they feel they could contain themselves.

In this situation I am talking about a 10 year old child who was in a class with 8 to 13 years olds.

There were other things that went on this class that assured that my kids would no longer be attending.

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27 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Appropriate? Probably not. It sends out a lot of the wrong messages, such as the kid doesn’t count and has no standing in the community.

On the other hand, it might be seen as being effective or quick by the teacher. I doubt if it is, but it might be perceived that way.

The best way to earn respect is to give respect. Teachers will do better if they respect their students. But of course, many of them feel that because they are adults, the kids owe them respect, but they owe nothing in return. In my opinion, those people shouldn’t be teachers.

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Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t like saying shut up in my own house, I certainly don’t want my son’s teachers saying it to him at school. I would be upset if they did and would have to talk to them about it. I was talkative in school as well, but I don’t ever remember a teacher telling me to shut up.

My son is very much a chatter box. His school has a discipline system where they pull colored cards when they misbehave. They start on red, which is good behavior with no warnings. Once they get a warning they go to white, two warnings they go to blue, and on a third warning, they have no cards left and they must go to the principals office. This seems to help my son remember that there is a time for talking because he doesn’t want to have to go to the principals office (he has had a lot of white cards because of that first warning about talking when he isn’t suppose to). Instead of raising her voice or saying anything out of line, the teacher simply says, “This isn’t the time for talk, please wait until later to have your conversation”. If my son (or another kid doesn’t stop) she simply says, “Please go pull your card” to them. I guess them physically pulling the card helps with them realizing that they need to stop, instead of just getting the warning.

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coffeenut's avatar

I would never tell a child to shut up but Duct-tape fixes a lot of problems, (I wouldn’t be a good teacher)

marinelife's avatar

It is, at best, ineffective if you have to repeat it. Also, using the phrase “Shut up” is unprofessional.

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Coloma's avatar

No. That IS derogatory and abusive and hardly signature for someone in the ‘teaching’ professions.

tranquilsea's avatar

In the same class he was singled out by the instructor for not doing his home work by asking the other children whether they thought he should be able to attend the end of the course party. Most of the kids said no he shouldn’t be allowed to attend.

ragingloli's avatar

Do not tell it to shut up, call it up to answer a question. On the board.

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roundsquare's avatar

@ragingloli Is “it” really the correct choice? I think “it” means “no gender” as opposed to “any gender.” English doesn’t have a good pronoun for a person of unspecified gender. But I could be wrong…

Anyway, I’m not a parent, but I think the only reason I would be unhappy wiht this situation is because it would be teaching the kids bad ways to deal with the situation. Other than that, I don’t think “shut up” is abusive. (I know, I know, being a parent changes your perspective… but it may not always be the only valid perspective. I think a lot of parents over-protect their kids).

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augustlan's avatar

Absolutely not, especially at that young age. Unprofessional at the very least, and quite demeaning.

Blackberry's avatar

No, duh…

Supacase's avatar

No. “Shut up” is a disrespectful thing to say to anyone, even a child. There are so many other phrases that are equally, if not more, effective. Be quiet, stop talking, shhh, and so on.

YARNLADY's avatar

No. It happened to me at school as well, and I hated it. The words “be quiet” are no better. I think, maybe “It’s not your turn to talk right now” might be better.

My oldest grandson was so happy to start school, but after a few years, I started homeschooling him, because his happy spirit was taken away from him by teachers saying “shut up” “stop talking” “you talk too much” all the time. Now he is an adult, and he hardly ever opens his mouth, I practically have to force him to speak.

Eggie's avatar

Telling a child to shut up is bording on abuse. The teacher can find alternative methods to discipline his/her class.

cak's avatar

Absolutely not appropriate. There could be reasons for the chattiness and it is better to take the time to investigate instead of demeaning the child and stifling him.

My son was very chatty close to the time of my brain surgery. He was scared. I am so thankful that his teacher took the time to send a note home asking what was going on, if something had changed because his behavior was changing. We worked together to come up with a strategy to help him cope with his anxiety.

We don’t say “shut up” in our house, it isn’t productive.

Also, on the issue of having the class “vote” whether or not he should be able to attend the end-of-course party, that is horrible. Your son was allowed to be bullied by the teacher and she involved the class in the process.

I’m sorry he experienced this, it’s horrible to deal with and especially when it comes from someone they should be able to trust.

cletrans2col's avatar

I would agree that telling a kid to ‘shut up’ isn’t very productive, but the notion that it’s equal to abuse is retarded.

ccrow's avatar

@coffeenut When I was in first grade, I sometimes got tape put over my mouth… masking tape, though, not duct tape. And it only happened after many verbal warnings… I think the most effective thing about it was the giggling of the other kids.
I also think “shut up” is totally inappropriate in this situation. (I do use it myself, but only to my dogs!) There are a lot of less disrespectful ways to get the point across.

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