Silence in Classrooms


Samantha Jessen, Staff Writer

Dead silence fills the room. The teacher’s watchful eyes scan up and down the rows, while students try to remain as still and silent as possible, not wanting to be the one to break the silence. The seconds pass, and the tension rises higher and higher. 

The majority of students have experienced this phenomenon at one time or another. The awkward battle between teacher and unwilling class is nothing new. Whether it’s insecurity, discomfort, or something else entirely, answering questions aloud in class can sometimes be a monumental effort, which often results in no one speaking up and the teacher being forced to call on an unwilling student or convince them to participate.  

 I propose the idea of music or background noise in classrooms, in order to combat the silence. Classes would move more smoothly, teachers would have more engagement, and students would be more comfortable in the classroom. 

  Being scared to breathe too loud, to blow a nose, and to ask questions in class should be a thing of the past. Whether it’s simple lo-fi music, which according to an article by Vaughn College is proven to increase focus and reduce stress, a fan, or a white noise machine, this solution is accessible to every classroom. 

  The inclusion of this idea would also allow students to get creative with what (school appropriate) music they want to listen to that day. Of course when necessary, such as during a test or presentation, music is not needed, but this classroom addition will just be the first step in making classrooms more comfortable for teachers and students alike.