Yes, it is possible to have a study hall which is absolutely quiet, even in your absence.
I remember study halls well. That’s where I discovered girls. I also discovered practical jokes. Some teachers were so completely unable to control us that we had to be careful not to make so much noise that the principal would come in. Other teachers did a better job, but they had to hover over us us like hawks. Nevertheless, all sorts of sneaky pranks would go on behind their backs or under the desks.
Study halls are typically buffers in the schedule. What do you do with the kids who aren’t taking band or French or whatever? You put them in a study hall, of course. Worse, study halls often collect those kids who are not academically inclined and/or have been removed from a class because their behavior was intolerable. Given all that, is it any wonder that teachers dread study halls.
Elsewhere in bethebestteacher.com, it has been pointed out that a great many kids, perhaps the majority, don’t have a suitable environment in which to study. Three quarters of mothers of kids under 18 work. Many of these won’t be home in the afternoon or early evening to enforce rules conducive to study. Many will study in the kitchen surrounded by the hubbub of family life. Others will study in front of the television or tethered to their iPod. Some will even do their homework while talking endlessly on their cellphones. Given that atmosphere, we could almost argue that a study hall could be one of their most important classes.
A study hall should be absolutely quiet. There should be no distraction whatever, save the occasional student going to use the pencil sharpener. Students should be doing their homework. For the teacher, it should be a time when he can grade papers, work on lesson plans, even leave the room. Yes, it is possible to have a study hall which is absolutely quiet, even in your absence. I’ll tell you how.
Go to “Teaching Tactics for Study Hall“