Leah had some great advice. Might I suggest a few things also? Remember I
teach middle school.
Soft, relaxing music is my tool for KEEPING quiet once it's established.
I've tried all kinds and usually used soft jazz. Lately I've discovered
"massage" music which is REALLY relaxing (the kind you hear when you're
getting a massage). For some reason this particular music seems to seep into
their mindframe and relax them. The music is never actually loud enough to
distinguish the song though most of it really isn't a "song") but,
nonetheless, reaches them. I start the music BEFORE they enter.
Another trick is to meet them at the door early on in the year (a couple of
times), catch the loud-talky ones before they enter, and put finger to
mouth...don't have to say a word...and they almost always enter the room
quietly and get to work.
A third trick is to seat them with a seating chart....boy-girl, boy-girl,
etc. The more immature ones think the other sex is still "icky" so it
sometimes works for that reason alone. Planned seating allows me the option
to move talkers around and separate into the four corners of the room
without causing a stir. Being a more seasoned teacher this year, you'll
probably recognize names when you get your new student list and you can
pre-plan your seating chart ahead of time. Having a seating chart prepared
from day one is a good preventive tool.
Building a reputation. Get tough on "noise". Kids will get to know you that
way. Once your reputation is there, it will carry through the years so
you'll have less problems in the future (I said "less", not "no"). Nothing's
perfect but these things will make it better. Toodles.....Bunki