In my Tue/Thu section of Math, Art, and Design, the students tend to greet most things that I say with silence. There’s an occasional question, but other than that they give me nothing. The trouble is that that makes me anxious. So instead of doing something sensible, I keep talking at them. That doesn’t help them to learn anything and it doesn’t really make me any less anxious. So I am considering a vow of silence after I we back from break. What if I did a whole class silently? I could write down for them that I feel anxious in class, which has the result that I talk too much, and that I’ve decided to experiment with being silent for a week (or one class day) and see what happens. I could design their activities so that minimal directions are needed, and I could write those directions down. But what would I do once they need help with an activity? Perhaps I could get another student to provide some help, or I could write down all the help. I can’t tell if this is a good idea or a really stupid idea.