When students dominate conversations

(1-minute read)


Hi Dr. Samet,

I teach 7th grade girls and my students are mostly intelligent and talented young ladies. There are approximately 6 students in my class who have strong personalities and their behavior is negatively affecting the social vibe in my classroom. During recess, they  can be very overpowering and don’t give other girls a chance to speak up. They interrupt the girls who are not “in their group.” Some of my students don’t even try to speak when the powerful girls are around. It’s sad to see these otherwise amazing girls give up. What do I do?


I’m not a fan of preaching. In fact, I always tell parents and teachers, “Teach, don’t preach.” Therefore, I would not give your class a lecture on what they’re doing wrong and why they shouldn’t do it. Such lectures often go in one ear and out the other. Instead, I would teach them some social skills lessons in which they’d learn several reds and greens.

As usual, I use theĀ 6 Steps: Label, picture, model, practice, reinforce, correct.

to teach each of the above red and green behaviors.

Tip: For the “practice” step, I have the students get into small groups and do role plays and skits in front of the class. In most of the schools where I’ve taught social skills lessons, the kids LOVE this activity!

Have a successful week!


Dr. Devora

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