It’s the middle of the school year and the teacher has been notified by her higher ups that a new student is starting in her classroom today. That morning that child shows up and he is excited. Looking all over the classroom and wanting to touch everything and run around the room looking at everything that’s new. To some people he has too much energy. What three or four letters do you immediately think of as the reader to describe what’s happening with him? Did you say ADD or ADHD? You wouldn’t be the first and you certainly wouldn’t be the last. “That child has too much energy”, we think. “He can’t focus”, we think. The evaluations that we put on that child when he is six might be slightly different when that child is 16 years old and he is running up and down the sports field faster than anyone else. He understands plays and strategy better than the majority of the kids on his team because of his mind’s design. He is being scouted by 7 different colleges looking to cover his entire college tuition. Does he have too much energy now? Or do the other kids have too little energy? It’s all based on how inconvenient it is for the person evaluating that child. Unfortunately we still live in the world where there are teachers that think that their students have to conform and adapt to the teacher and if they don’t then the child is deemed unteachable. Then you have teachers who are loving and open and understand that every generation of children are smarter, quicker, sharper, and faster and it’s completely up to the teacher to adapt their teaching for that child. Also, that teacher that changes for her children doesn’t HAVE TO, she GETS TO. The first is being a victim of the situation. The second is being the source of the situation. One is a teacher that blames others for their happiness and another one is a teacher that chooses responsibility and power. Can’t have both. Which one are you?
There was a time where we had limited resources as educators on where to get access to activities to engage children with higher energy. Now we have Google and YouTube so that conversation is obsolete. It wouldn’t take a teacher longer than 60 seconds to find five activities to do with their children whether they are seated, standing, or in a physical movement environment. It’s all up to the teacher to take on that responsibility that they are the champions for their kids as opposed to blame in the child for being the way the child is. Would you take your puppy to an open field or dog park and then when they don’t stop running around and they keep on chasing other dogs while others don’t, would you ever classify them as having too much energy? Of course not. Our happiness and comfort are based exclusively on our perception of our environment and what we make it mean. Another trap that I’ve fallen into that happens with other educators is that for whatever reason we think that we can figure things out ourselves and don’t need help. That is one of the biggest sabotagers that ensures that we fail. Think about a parent that you as a teacher have had a conversation with that has been tricked by their own mind into thinking that they know what’s best for their child over an educator who’s been working with children for years. Would you go to your heart surgeon and make a suggestion as to how to do the surgery? Would you go to your attorney and tell them how they should run your case? Of course not. They are professionals in their field and have spent many hours studying and working in that field to see what works and what doesn’t. Yet for some reason parents think that they know what’s best for their child and usually it’s just to raise them the opposite way that their parents raised them.
Reach out to other educators who have experience with high energy kids. I taught at a school with one brother-sister tag team that were bouncing off the walls and each other. It was amazing to watch. After trying a few things, it seemed that the only thing that worked was showing up 15 early and having them do bear walks, frog jumps, crab walks, kangaroo hops and then finish by sprinting across the backyard area. And I had to reach out to a former associate for suggestions. I needed help and you do too. It’s ok and it doesn’t mean anything about you. Ask for help. People love to help. What could you use help with right now? Who could you ask that would be delighted to help?
I offer my help to start with the article below:
Picture by Homeschoolfacts.com