The banter between you and these attention-seeking extroverts will encourage the others to loosen up. Now teaching begins to be fun. The danger comes in letting it go too far. After the rather non-stimulating social climate that was necessary during the first few days, you’ll welcome some good-natured exchanges. Even if it gets a bit too boisterous, you might overlook it, since they have been so “good.” This is a mistake. The standard of conduct must be relaxed gradually, over many days, not suddenly. A joke or two one day, a couple more the next. You must “test the water,” as it were. If your talkative friend’s comments become too intrusive, you’ll need to take him aside after class. You only need to tell him how much you have enjoyed the occasional comic relief but that it has become too frequent. You don’t want him to stop completely, but he should be more sensitive to your needs of the moment. Suggest that in the future if he sees you give him a serious look, he should stop. You don’t want to offend him, since he does like you and is very likely a class leader. And, since he does like you, this personal appeal to his maturity will undoubtedly be appreciated and respected.
If there are no extroverts to help you relax the atmosphere, you’ll have to do it yourself. You might inject some humor from time to time. They will be uneasy at first but will soon come around. Be careful not to make a student the object of the humor, though. Impromptu, brief conversations with individual students also serve the same purpose.
Go to “Don’t Become too Lax“