Some students will go through school without ever being taught to listen to teachers. The teacher may say something will happen, but they don't follow through or the consequences don't ever reach the student. This can become a problem when the students reach the upper grades.
As a teacher you need to teach the students that you are the teacher and they need to learn to listen and show respect. You also need to make sure that you follow through with what you say. Set rules and consequences and stick with them. Eventually the students will learn, but it may take some time.
I teach fourth graders and there was a time that I also had a problem with my students listening. Finally, I explained to them the following:
1. The student receives a behavior sheet that we both sign, conference, mand I keep in a behavior binder.
2. I mail a behavior note to the parent which I make a copy of to keep in the behavior binder
3. I write a behavior referral and send the student to the office and I have the behavior sheet and copy of the parent letter to show the problem has been addressed.
I also inform my students the importance of listening for safety issues. If they are noisy we cannot hear emergency drills. Furthermore, if you cannot honor my request to follow and obey rules please do not make a request of me and expect for me to honor your request. Treat and respect others like you would like to be respected. This has given them much to think about and it has improved their behavior. Good luck.
1. You must start with the expectation that the class will listen to you.
2. Plan an interesting lesson which requires listening. For example, read a book that is sure to please them in chapters with interesting activites at the end of each chapter. Two books that come to mind are Horrendo's Curse or Pippi Longstocking. Make it really special.
3. If usually they sit at their desk, sit them on the on the carpet.
4. Do not shout. In fact, speak more quietly and always wait until they are settled. Never talk over noise or the class will assume you will allow it.
5. Instead of negative consequences, use positive ones. Add a marble to a jar every time the whole class listens or works well. Award only the whole class, not individuals. When the jar is full, the class could have or choose a special activity e.g. chess time, fun class quiz, special science challenge.
Once you have them interested and listening once, they will be more ready to listen in the future.
6. I used to take the four weakest and least attentive maths students before school one day a week to prepare them for new work. When I presented that topic to the whole class, these children suddenly found that they were ahead and could answer questions. Very quickly these weak students began to enjoy maths and to listen and participate fully. In many years of teaching, this never failed to work.
These are only a few ideas. I hope you find them useful and that you can gain confidence with your class. Good luck. It really does get easier the more years you teach.