I am teaching a class of about 100 undergraduates. The class meets for a three-hour block every week in a lecture hall which seats about 120. We have about 2-3 breaks every lecture, to give students time to buy food, go to the restroom, and also to work on some in-class problems which they have to submit after the lecture.

The problem that I am facing is that many of the students like to chit-chat even when I am talking. I find that this is distracting for the students who want to concentrate on what I am saying.

What are some techniques which I can apply to nicely tell the students to keep quiet?

Clarification: When it's time to work on the in-class problems, the students get 20 minutes to do so, and are free to talk as much as they like. The problem with the students being noisy is that they are noisy during the lecture when there are supposed to be quiet.

  • 33
    A professor of mine once screamed "sex!". He immediately got everybody's attention. – Davidmh Oct 23 '15 at 19:50
  • 39
    one of the most effective I saw, in a class of 700 was, the professor looking at the chatting students: "Please be quiet", then 10 minutes later "I ask you again to please be quiet" then after they began chatting again, spoke to the whole class: "I'm sorry, I have to leave. We will commence tomorrow from lecture 15, the remainder of lecture 14 will be in the exam". – Lyndon White Oct 24 '15 at 1:03
  • 56
    @Oxinabox That would be a reason for me, as a quiet student, to file a complaint against the professor. I come to a lecture because I want to learn about something, not to waste time traveling for a professor that does not want to give lectures. – Sumurai8 Oct 24 '15 at 6:26
  • 45
    @Oxinabox: Effective perhaps, but punishing a group for the actions of individuals is fundamentally wrong. – user38662 Oct 24 '15 at 8:44
  • 49
    "Ssshhhhh! People are sleeping!" – JeffE Oct 24 '15 at 17:51

17 Answers 17

up vote 116 down vote accepted

Call them out when you notice it. Stop what you're doing - single the chit-chatters out, and ask them if they have anything they'd like to say. If they have questions they should ask them so that the entire class can hear - that way everyone can learn. Otherwise, make it clear that you won't tolerate chit-chat and, if they persist, simply kick them out of the class. Make it clear that they are welcome to return to the next lecture on the condition that they keep quiet during the lecture. Be sure to be polite and cordial, of course, but don't waver on being firm.

It is not acceptable for a few noisy students to compromise the learning environment for everyone else. Just get them out of there. You probably won't have to do this more than once or twice before the rest figure out that you're serious. As a lecturer, you're the captain of the ship. Don't be afraid to be the captain - keeping order is your job.

Also keep in mind that it is not your job to make sure that they pay attention - that's their job. "Listen to me" should not be your responsibility, it should be theirs. Your responsibility is primarily "Don't disrupt my lecture! Others are trying to listen to me". If they would like to quietly not pay attention, that's fine. They're paying for a seat in the lecture hall - what they do with it is up to them, so long as it does not affect the learning environment for everyone else (who are also paying for their seat in that lecture hall!).

  • 37
    "If they would like to quietly not pay attention, that's fine.", something to remember. – Rolazaro Azeveires Oct 23 '15 at 19:41
  • 31
    @Dmitry It's not possible to force someone to learn, the student must put in the effort. Additionally, the class may consist of students who learn at various paces. The fast learners may be bored/ familiar with the work already. No one is forcing anyone to be there. – user21268 Oct 24 '15 at 8:09
  • 15
    @DmitrySavostyanov I'm not sure what your point is. The answer is predicated on the notion that the lecturer is holding a lecture, that they intend to hold a lecture, and that a minority of students are disrupting that lecture. If you want to have a debate on the merits of lectures over other forms of instruction, this doesn't seem to be the place. That's not the context in which the answer was given. Additionally, the only alternative to "stay quiet" is "not stay quiet" - I fail to see how noisy students are compatible with an effective lecture. t's pretty clear cut - one or the other. – J... Oct 24 '15 at 11:21
  • 18
    @DmitrySavostyanov We're not talking about children here. These are adults who are well past the age where they should be expected to have learned that disruptive behaviour is unacceptable. Bad behaviour should hardly be the precipitating trigger for a change of educational policy. Changing a lecture format should be a decision made on the basis of an evaluation of its effectiveness as a teaching tool, not as a pandering move to bratty overgrown children misbehaving. Whether a lecture is effective or not is irrelevant - students should be able to control themselves in either case. – J... Oct 24 '15 at 14:13
  • 19
    @DmitrySavostyanov Sorry, on this point we absolutely disagree. Adult students should be expected to not act inappropriately, full stop. If there are things wrong with the lecture, there are perfectly effective means of communicating this to the lecturer other than misbehaviour. – J... Oct 24 '15 at 14:23

Keep it short and simple. They are adults, able to understand what you ask of them, and able to understand that you have the right to request this. At the first time, say something like: "Please, you guys in the 5th row, your chatter is disturbing the class. If it's important for the class, you can always raise your hand and ask." At the second time (which shouldn't happen): "Please, if you really need to discuss something unrelated to the class, you can do it outside." At the third time, ask them directly to leave.

Also, don't be too picky. Sometimes people mishear your words or aren't sure what you've written. It happens that they ask the neighbour and he replies. Pointing out this can be annoying to the students themselves, since it's often a result of the lecture, and it would be more annoying if they asked you to repeat stuff often.

Last but not least, do not tell them to listen to you and keep paying attention. Again, they are adults, they know why they are there and it's their responsibility. Make them keep paying attention by good lecturing, and ignore those that don't try to pay attention.

  • 8
    Point 2 is important. It is definitely worth checking the assumption that the entire class can hear the lecture. That's easy to remedy if not. – J... Oct 24 '15 at 11:25
  • "They are adults" Are you sure? – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 26 '15 at 11:54
  • @yo': Apparently it is your issue to solve otherwise there would not be a problem. (Where "your" actually = the OP) – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 26 '15 at 12:54
  • Didn't say it wasn't a good solution. – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 26 '15 at 12:56

Here are my 2 (euro)cents. Mostly are general remarks based on my -maybe lousy- experience, point 5 somehow answers your question.

  1. Though breaks are useful for all the stated reasons and more, one should always take into account that it takes some time to the students to regain concentration after a break. During this time, they typically continue to speak, eat food etc. I typically allow 1 break for a 3 h lecture and 2 breaks for a 4 h lecture (we had 4 h lectures up to a few years ago).
  2. Students, frequently, start to talk when the pace of the lesson is slow. Or put it in an another way: if they can find the time to talk, maybe the professor is not keeping them enough busy. Try to analyze the pace of your lecture and see if it might be worth increasing it.
  3. Be sure to look at them when you speak, even if you have to write a lot on the blackboard.
  4. Don't interleave too frequently the parts where you speak with those in which they work the exercises. Separate clearly the two parts (e.g. in the first 1.5 h you speak, in the second, they work).
  5. When I think that students are speaking too much (rarely; they are typically quiet), I just stop talking, it is typically sufficient to regain the audience.
  • 2
    +1 I like point (5). But, it may have negative impact to the teaching evaluation rating, though. – scaaahu Oct 24 '15 at 3:35
  • 1
    As for point 1, expect me to fall asleep due to lack of oxigen in the poorly ventilated, often packed, lecture halls if breaks are every 1.5 to 2 hours. A break allows me to stretch my legs, get the blood flowing again and concentrate again for another 30-45 minutes. Even taking notes and answering questions the professor asks keeps me from falling asleep for soo long. From personal experience, don't give less breaks, or allow windows to be opened completely even when it is -10 degrees outside. – Sumurai8 Oct 24 '15 at 17:16
  • I agree with most of this, except for the 1.5 hours of letting the students work at the end of a lecture. That's not what lecture time is for. If you're finished with the lecture, just dismiss it and let students do their exercises on their own time. If they choose not to do the exercises on their own time, that's their problem; not yours. They're adults and should know how to manage their time. – reirab Oct 24 '15 at 18:15
  • 1
    @reirab: I generally agree with you, but my answer specifically addressed what seems to be the OP's decision to let the students do the exercises during the lecture time, so that they are assisted, and I didn't want to question his method (I've just suggested to distribute differently the two parts). And he is not alone, actually: many professors run this kind of assisted exercise sessions (I don't), so in some cases they might be useful. – Massimo Ortolano Oct 24 '15 at 18:42

I have found that slowly reducing the volume of your voice can be effective. Students are trying to talk just loud enough to be heard by their neighbour but not so loud as to be noticed. Slowly bring down the volume over 1-2 mins and they will try and bring down theirs too so as not to be noticed. You have no chance if you try and talk over them with a big group (though that can be effective with a group of up to 40 or so). If you can learn a few names and ask "John" to be quiet rather than "the class" you will do better too. Best of luck - sometimes the class dynamic can just kill you, so don't take it too much to heart.

  • 1
    This. A technique I learned from teaching third graders is to become completely silent, and stare at your watch expectantly. – szxk Oct 24 '15 at 23:36

This relates to the issue of individual and group focus. The following worked for me in a foreign country, where they would speak in their own language and interrupted me as they pleased:

During presentation, after n slides, one slide is a question about the last n slides, where students need to solve it. Then ask two individuals what is the answer? They can't answer? More two... and so on.

Note on the N: This depends on the class; and how out of control they are. For me, a master class the n was 7 and for an undergraduate was 5.

Note on the Question: The question should not be too hard or easy. A little above the medium level.

After couple of classes like this, you will see, students will take things more seriously and the competitiveness of human nature will dominate the class; which is a good thing.

  • 1
    Interesting suggestion! Though I do find it surprising that you had disruptive students in a graduate class. At least at the university I attended, most of the disruptive students had either learned how to pay attention or dropped out by the second year of undergrad. – reirab Oct 24 '15 at 18:28
  • @reirab tell me about it. They kept talking :/ – Seyed Oct 26 '15 at 15:44

You can consider the following.

  1. Make the parts when you are talking as brief as possible. If you have to deliver a lot of content, consider flipping the classroom and ask students to read the material before the lecture.
  2. Engage students in group work, so they chit-chat for the right purpose.
  3. Make sure that the time when you talk is valuable for students, engages them and contributes to their learning. If you do not feel enthusiastic about some part of your lecture, think how you can replace it.
  4. Keep your voice at a right level and do not raise to speak over the chit-chat. Instead, you can ask students a question or attract their attention to the fact that you want to speak and fellow students may want to hear what you're saying.
  • 6
    I have found that group work frequently leads to more chit chat among students, even when group time is over. It seems from my experience that the larger the class, the longer it takes them to settle down after being asked to interact. – Dan Oct 23 '15 at 15:30
  • 2
    That is true. I just don't find, in my experience in large classes, that group work and lecture sections mix well. I also find group sessions frequently get irretrievably off-topic. – Dan Oct 23 '15 at 16:14
  • 4
    Sounds more "like a boatswain" than J...'s answer, to me. Converting a lecture to group work exercises sounds like changing the entire format of a class to accommodate rude students. – Dronz Oct 23 '15 at 22:47
  • 4
    @DmitrySavostyanov The point is that you shouldn't change the format of the class completely to solve a problem of a couple students. If you have a good reason to change the model, then fine, but this isn't a good reason. – yo' Oct 24 '15 at 13:02
  • 3
    @DmitrySavostyanov active learning is yet another tool in the teaching box. There are cases (combinations of topics, audience, and lecturers) for which it is an excellent choice; for others, a more traditional masterclass is the right choice. 2% of rude students should not be a factor in this decision. – Davidmh Oct 24 '15 at 14:00

This is a technique that my high school teacher used: ask questions, and ask the students who were chit-chatting.

  • First, unless the students do not respect the professor, in which case it should be handled differently. In general, the students only chit-chat when thinking that the professor does not pay attention to them. When you ask the students questions, it is a message that "I'm looking at you". So these students will keep silent.
  • Secondly, imagine you are talking with somebody, and suddenly the teacher ask you a question. Since you didn't pay attention, most of the cases you can't answer it. It is so embarrassed when all other students look at you, and you will keep silent until the end of the class, and likely the rest of the course as well. This also sets an example for other students.

I was also one of the students being asked in that way, I know how embarrassed it was :)

  • 16
    This is so passive-aggressive. Please do not do that. It's better to tell them: "Excuse me, but your chit-chat is disturbing the class," than to try to put a shame on them. They are adults, for Pete's sake. – yo' Oct 23 '15 at 16:57
  • 8
    @qsp Questions are a good thing, but it doesn't mean that every question is a good thing. Of course, questions used to waken the class up, get a feedback on whether your lecture is clear etc. -- that's fine. But here, you obviously ask the question only to embarrass the chatting people. – yo' Oct 23 '15 at 17:25
  • 8
    By doing this, you also run the risk of the student making the class laugh by giving a delightfully stupid answer. I've been that student more than a few times. – Matthew Oct 23 '15 at 18:15
  • 4
    As an aside, I would also add that this doesn't work for students who don't appear to be paying attention, but aren't talking. I'm remembering myself from high school here. I had one math teacher (pre-Calculus) who was just so absolutely awful that I would actually know less about the material if I paid attention to her, so I didn't. Occasionally, she'd attempt to bring attention to this by asking me the answer to a question she'd been working on for the last 10 minutes. After a couple of times of me responding with the correct answer without even looking up, she stopped doing that. :) – reirab Oct 24 '15 at 18:35
  • 3
    On the positive side, I did set several high scores on the games I was playing on my graphing calculator in that class. – reirab Oct 24 '15 at 18:38

I think it would be better to explain to them how it feels when they chit chat while someone is teaching. Try to make them understand instead of scolding or taking harsh actions. Be more friendly and teach as if thinking from their side(As in what you would've thought if you were one of the student). I think the slight change in your teaching methodology can do the trick.

I like Dmitry's general approach.

Some specific suggestions:

If you have mobility in the lecture hall, you can take a couple of index cards with you to remind yourself what you need to say, and wander around the room. This can be done in a natural way, as an expression of your dynamism and enthusiasm. Now, with great subtlety, pause a bit when you approach the chatty cluster. You must do this with subtlety so as not to embarrass them. Just your proximity, without you even needing to give them a look, will generally cause them to stop or taper off. If need be, you can park yourself briefly near them several times during the class.

Here's something you can do if you don't have mobility, or if the above procedure doesn't solve the problem: at some point during the class, say, "I'd like to ask Row 7, starting with green sweatshirt across to black and white baseball cap, to come and see me briefly at the end of class." End two minutes early. (If anyone else wants to talk to you, ask them to wait for you in the hall for a moment, and catch up with them there.) Now you may say to the chatty Hatties: "For next class, I'd like to ask you to temporarily separate and choose seats that are in different locations of the hall. Some students are having trouble hearing, and I need to find a quick solution to that." Do you see? You are not embarrassing them.

Have some classical music playing as the students are drifting into the class. Nothing noisy -- no full brass choir, no crash cymbals.

Periodically show a short, entertaining video at the end of class. Let the students propose these via email.

Last suggestion: do a course evaluation ASAP. Draft it in as constructive a form as you can.

The root of the problem is of course that authority works very differently in schools than in universities and the workplace. Young undergraduates are still in the process of adjusting to the new environment, and in large groups they tend to feel strong and carry over the behaviour they have grown up with. In the eyes of the average high-school student, actual subject knowledge is almost dispensable, but a teacher who doesn't know the tricks of the trade is a weak teacher who is asking to be trampled upon.

I haven't tried this yet as I haven't been in a comparable situation, but based on some experience teaching both at school and university level, I suggest the following in conjunction with other techniques:

In each class with a noise problem, ask one student for his or her name. Ideally this should be one of the students who were noisy, but this is not necessary. In case of any escalation, ask that student (and possibly one or two others, but no more) to see you at the end of the class. Do not announce any consequences or threats whatsoever. The only real consequence will be that you will remember the student's name and will not forget it until the end of the semester.

If one of the students whose names you know is noisy, call that student by name. If someone in the neighbourhood of a student you know is noisy, still call the one whose name you already know. Only if you are absolutely sure that student was quiet, call one who you think was noisy, identifying them as, e.g., "the one in blue to the right of John Doe".

Picking out a student even if you are not sure it's the right one is obviously not fair, but it's often necessary in this kind of environment, and that's why experienced high-school-level teachers often resort to this method. Announcing that you are going to have a word with a student later makes the students think about what could be the worst thing that might happen. Nobody wants to be swapped in for that student. Since most students have no idea of how restricted your options are, that is much more effective than any real threat, and you are not going to lose credibility if nothing happens. Actual threats or announced consequences are less effective, you risk the reaction "So cheap? I want that too so I appear equally cool before the others!", you risk losing all credibility if nothing happens, and it's often a lot of work to carry out whatever it is you announced.

Demonstrating that you remember the the names of (likely) noisy students is a similar strategy. Students will think of all sorts of ways (many of which would never occur to you) how you might manipulate the grades of those students you appear to have taken a dislike to. They don't know that their fears are unfounded before exams are over. (If you need to reinforce this fear, you might tell them sincerely but not too convincingly that you will do no such thing.)

What Paul says: "reducing the volume of your voice", is going to work very well. If the students cannot hear you, they'll make sure they can hear hear you if they know that they need to ask their their neighbor to stop talking. I've seen this technique used with success quite often by some professors when I was a first year undergraduate. I guess what also helped here was the fact that only about 30% would pass the exam and that there was only one make up exam after which you had to wait a year. A significant fraction of the students attending the lecture were second year students who had failed the exam twice.

I have a professor that will look at the person and politely ask, "I'm sorry, do you have a question?"

It typically works.

I think it's slightly embarrassing to the student, enough to get him to shut up, but not enough to humiliate him.

If the student continues, I'd pull him/her aside after class and ask that they not talk in class.

As a student, when someone is talking in class, it derails me from the lecture. I just sit there and think, "how could someone be so rude?" I know I shouldn't let something like that pull me away from the lecture, but it really is hard to concentrate with something like that going on. Because of this, I do think that something should be done.

And I'm not saying that when this happens, the professor is doing a poor job of running the classroom. This happens often. In upper level classes it seems less so the case.

Some professor lash out and go on a rampage -- I don't think this is the solution either. I've had professors do this to students and it kind of makes the professor unapproachable in my eyes. I'm worried I'll ask a "stupid" question and they'll yell at me and say, "Weren't you listening in lecture? I went over ALL of this!"

I have been to 1000's of lecture hours in my lifetime as a student/undergrad/postgrad/medical school.

In a smaller class scenario such as your's the best thing to do is specifically single and remove those students who fail to comply after atleast one (1) attempt has been made on your part asking for compliance.

Doing this effectively activates/deactivates the dopamine reward pathway system of the brain in both attentive/non-attentive students. Placing the burden of perhaps lost attendance/lack of information understanding on the troublesome students while not affecting those that are listening.

This is a cliche example of a scenario where it's better to be feared than liked.

I'd also like to emphasize that any strong confrontations should not happen in front of the class. I made the mistake of being very confrontational with a student.

She had repeatedly throughout the term been disruptive: talking, laughing, making gestures, playing on her phone etc. in a class of maybe 20. I stopped the lecture and asked her very directly, "Is something funny?" She absolutely lost it. She insulted and yelled at me in front of the class and then refused to leave when I asked her to. I had to call campus police to finally get her to go. Then I had to go through the process of arguing that she should be withdrawn from my class.

If it is a reoccurring problem that is not solved by soft, but firm rebuke, ask the student to stay after class, give them formal warning, follow this up with an email, and then withdraw them if necessary.

  • 1
    Take into account that not in all countries it is possible to withdraw a student from a class, that is, unless the student is expelled from the university, you have to take them, like it or not. – Massimo Ortolano Oct 27 '15 at 21:18
  • 1
    @MassimoOrtolano I find it VERY VERY unlikely that there's anywhere in the world that would force a lecturer to put up with a disruptive student. – Miles Rout Jan 19 '16 at 2:00
  • @MilesRout I cannot send a disruptive student in another class, if my class is mandatory and I'm the only one who teaches it. That is, either the student is expelled from the university or I'll have to cope with them. – Massimo Ortolano Jan 19 '16 at 7:01
  • @MassimoOrtolano If a student is disruptive, they are not welcome in lectures. Nobody is ever required to attend lectures anyway. If a student chooses to be disruptive to the extent that they can't attend lectures, then they will just have to learn the material somehow else, and can try their luck in the exam. – Miles Rout Jan 19 '16 at 22:06
  • 1
    @MilesRout Probably yes, but with a caveat: entrance to the university and to the rooms is free (anyone can attend university lectures, even those who are not enrolled): if someone persists in a seriously disruptive behaviour, the university can press charges against them for disruption of public service (disclaimer: IANAL). If I recall correctly this happened a few times in the 1980s-90s, during several university protests, when protesting students fled the rooms to interrupt lectures. – Massimo Ortolano Jan 20 '16 at 7:55

As noted by J..., it is my responsibility rather than that of the quiet students to help the noisy students to be quiet.

Here are some of the techniques that I have tried, as well as my observations about their effectiveness.

Note about the classroom: Due to the size of the lecture hall, which is more than 100 people, it is difficult for me to be heard unless I use a microphone. A wired microphone is provided by the university, but the wire is not long enough for me to walk beyond the first row of seating for students.

  1. If students who are seated near the front are talking standing in front of the talking students and looking more intently at them is a subtle signal for them to stop talking. This is quiet effective for some students, but for others they seem to be oblivious to my presence and my stare.
  2. If students who are seated near the back are talking, I was able to walk through the middle aisle and speak there, where I was closer to many of the noisy students. When I was standing in the middle of the students, many of them were more quiet. I suspect that this is partly because they were surprised to see me at that location in the lecture hall.
  3. If a group of students is particularly noisy, I will point out the general area where the students are located, and tell them, "The students in this section are rather noisy. Please keep quiet."
  4. Catching the students' attention with something interesting helps them to quieten down, e.g., showing them a video that is relevant to the class, or speaking English with a fake British accent.

Observations:

  • Students take some time to settle down at the start of the lecture, and also after every lecture break. After about 10-15 minutes, students are more quiet than they were at the beginning.

This is probably not going to be the answer you are looking for but I would like to give it anyway.

Why do you feel the need to do anything? This is not High School anymore. The people who attend Tertiary institutions are supposed to be adults. If they behave themselves like children just plainly let them.

If they have so little respect for there fellow students and teachers then let them talk. Don't get mad just go on like you always do.

When these man children eventually fall behind you can be honest with them when (and if) they come to you for assistance.

Just remember you are their educator not their parents. You educate them. You don't raise them.

You do have to realise that there is absolutely nothing you can do for a student when there is a refusal to listen to your teachings. I had to find that painful truth out the hard way. 

  • 16
    Please don't. I recall a few classes I had in college in this style - a 'Laissez-faire' teacher - and it was just impossible. The teacher has a responsibility towards the students that want to listen, as there little to no chance for them to stop the noisy guys. – Rolazaro Azeveires Oct 23 '15 at 19:47
  • 7
    Exactly. It's not about the talkers, who may or may not deserve your help to grow up a little. It's about the people next to or behind the talkers who can't follow the lecture and deserve your help to be able to do what they came into the room to do. – Kate Gregory Oct 24 '15 at 13:46

Me: "You two with the conversation. What are your names?"

Them: "Mike" "Dan"

Me: "Hi Mike and Dan." "Class say hi to Mike and Dan."

Class: "Hi Mike and Dan."

Me: "Mike/Dan you must have some really good stuff you are talking about. Since your conversation is more important than your classmate's grades whatever you are talking about must be groundbreaking." "Can I get two volunteers to come up here."

Two students come up (the other students love this).

Me: "I am going to ask my volunteers to stand 30 feet apart. Mike/Dan come on down and stand next to one of my volunteers."

Mike and Dan stand next to one of the volunteers.

Me: "Now whisper to the volunteers what you were talking about and why it was important."

30 seconds later...

Me: "OK volunteers can you share what they were talking about and why it was important?"

And this is the fun. You will get some stupid reasons. But the funnest part is that the two stories hardly ever are the same. Which leads to...

Me: "Mike/Dan given that you guys can't remember what you were talking about 3 minutes before I would suggest taking good notes."

This takes 5 minutes, it is entertaining, and I have never had to do it more than twice for one class.

  • 12
    No, it is not entertaining, it is embarrassing. You should not try to embarrass people. – yo' Oct 23 '15 at 17:06
  • 12
    Yeah seriously. This is just a teacher on a power trip trying to shame people like if they were in kindergarten. It's bad of them to chit-chat while a teacher talks, but that's no reason to treat them like kids passing around notes in class. – Patrice Oct 23 '15 at 19:35
  • 13
    This is also disrespectful for the students who want to learn, went to a lecture, and got a circus instead. Don't waste their time. – Davidmh Oct 23 '15 at 20:00
  • 1
    Perfectly fine response, but only do it if they're clearly disrupting the class. It's not rude in that case. – BonsaiOak Oct 25 '15 at 0:50
  • I'm a student and I've had students lean over and ask me to repeat what the professor said. I'm very quiet and polite and make it very obvious I'm describing what the professor is going over (pointing at the board and my notes)... again, VERY quietly and VERY briefly. If a professor were to call me out like this in this one instance where I talk in class, I would be devastated. – mas Oct 25 '15 at 20:57

protected by jakebeal Oct 25 '15 at 4:02

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.