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- Teaching With Minecraft EDU - April 3, 2019
- Self-Care Is Priority One for This Teacher - February 13, 2019
- Preparing Students For Teacher Absences - February 12, 2019
- Respect in the Classroom: Earned, Not Expected - February 11, 2019
- Dissing the Family Crazies: A Christmas Story - January 6, 2019
- Band-Aiding The Mental Health of Our Children - November 23, 2018
- We Must Love Them - November 5, 2018
- Take One For the Team: The Need for Self-Care - August 19, 2018
- The New Teacher Smell - August 19, 2018
The volume level in my classroom is not normal. And by that I mean it’s not silent. Or quiet. Or even remotely close to whispering. My classroom is noisy, busy and sometimes a bit chaotic.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Now don’t get me wrong. We do quiet down, and even go silent at appropriate times, like when assignments have been handed out, tests are being given and when we are reading. But my busy bodies of six-and seven-year-olds get to wiggle, giggle and visit to their heart’s content during other times, as long as it’s not disturbing the friends they are wiggling, giggling and visiting in the vicinity of.
Five-, six-and seven-year-old children need to wiggle. A lot. So much so that I wish I could establish a cardio routine burning the energy and calories that they burn. Their little bodies LEARN this way. Remember, these are CHILDREN. They use every sense over every part of their bodies to take in the world around them. They are also learning important communication skills while they are wiggling and being silly with their neighbors. Listen to their conversations. They are figuring out the rhythm of speech patterns. They are learning to take turns talking. They are learning to pay attention to the other person. I know some adults who could take lessons from these kiddos.
ADHD diagnoses are at a high level, especially for young children. I’m not saying that this is never an accurate diagnosis; we’ve all seen our share of children who definitely need help figuring out how to manage attention issues. Many times though this diagnosis is assigned to children who are very tactile learners, but are difficult to manage in a classroom setting. All too often this is a MIS-diagnosis that ends up stifling the learning style and harming those all-important brain connections that need to be nurtured instead of suppressed, causing that flame of eagerness and curiosity to be snuffed out.
When we have young children who are a huge handful in class, we need to remember they are YOUNG children. Children that have only walked the earth for five, six, seven, eight years. In the grand scale of things, this is not a very long time. Seeking alternative ways to manage these children, and teaching THEM how to self-regulate is crucial during these young years. And it is possible. Exhausting sometimes, but very possible.
It is important to seek out different methods of helping these children, whether it be stocking a pile of fidgets for them to use during carpet time, providing them with continual positive reinforcement or encouraging others to help encourage, instead of ostracize, your little one. Remember everything that is going on developmentally with these little people: they are developing inter- and intrapersonal skills, practicing communication skills, learning social nuances and building self-worth. If we hinder these milestones because they don’t fit into the way we want our class to run or because of the time and effort it will take to find out a better management system, we are scaring these children for years to come.
They are young learners. Let them be.