Anyone want an awesome alibi for intelligent students who are too eager and speak multiple times every day? One woman once came to me, concerned that I overlooked her frequently raised hand because she said stupid things or I didn’t like her. I reassured her—“no, your contributions are great, I want to hear from you—I’m just saving you for the hard questions.

The first time I used this, it was 110% true, but it’s pretty much been true when I say it.

I once had a professor who told me “no, you shut up” when I started to speak, but she was my mentor and it was really funny. I was a bit miffed, because in my view I had paused to let other people have a chance, but apparently my own judgment of how long it takes people to think is a bit off. I’ve also been known to tell super-keen students that they are fast thinkers and it’s not fair of me to always go to the fast thinker. And then I use the “we’ll take a couple minutes while everyone jots down an answer in their notes” trick, which means the silence is natural, not heavy, and lets me call on quiet students.

Rate Your Students has a theme going on super-keen students. RYS needs category tags or at least a search box, I think, but this link will get you started and let you work backwards.