Working practice problems on the whiteboards today, one student says, “Wow I feel like a real mathematician covering up the board with all this math.”
Last night I asked for a conceptual idea to teach absolute value. Susan suggested her paper plate idea complete with a visual. I tried the idea today with white boards instead of paper plates. Later when we students went back to their seats to work on their own, a girl says “Our math is way easier than middle school math.”
In a class with students notorious for not listening and needing me to repeat everything always, I refused. They had to ask 2-3 students before they could figure out what to do. But it changed the whole atmosphere of the class. Because I was not raising my voice and talking over everyone, I had zero students raising their voice or talking over everyone. The class self-corrected and we accomplished way more than I expected.
Sometimes the best way to use your voice is not to.