The TES printed a series of articles a while ago on behaviour. One of them looked at the issue of those pupils who never stop talking. It is an interesting article, one that can be applied both to schools and ministry within a church. (You may need to register with the TES website to access it). Here are a few snippets:
One Year 8 boy was making things hard for a new teacher. If he put the energy into his work that he was putting into talking all the time, we would be getting somewhere. When you listened to what he was saying, there was real intelligence there. And that’s what I told him. I said, ‘You’ve obviously got a good brain by the way you talk. I’d love to see some evidence of that on paper.’ Every time he stopped talking and made an effort to work, I’d praise him. I’d go up to him and say: ‘Look at that, that’s great. We want more of that.’ Little by little he began to produce something worthwhile.
I take the line that they are talking over and above the teachers because they want attention; they are saying, ‘I am here, listen to me’. I don’t say, ‘Shut up’, I say to them, ‘Yes, you have a voice, and you should be listened to, but you have to say the right things in the right places.’ I try to turn round what they have said towards their work.