The idea of attempting to engage students in discussion is rather frightening. There’s always the possibility that we will be met with silence. Sociologists have long contended that our behavior is guided by norms. The college classroom is no exception. You have likely noticed whichever seat a student sits in on the first day of class is where the student will sit for the entire semester. It is a normative expectation that students have about the classroom. Why can students get away with only paying civil attention; i.e., creating the appearance of paying attention? The answer is that we as faculty let them. Here are some ways to create new classroom norms.