Monday, September 17, 2012

Keep Calm and Don't Be a Squirrel

I have recently decided that I probably have a mild case of ADD.  Perhaps this has developed in my adulthood, but perhaps I've always had it and just never chose to do anything about it.  I do remember getting very easily distracted when I would try to read, and especially if there was music or TV playing somewhere, I couldn't help but zone out and listen to that.  This is probably related to my ability to remember large amounts of song lyrics, while very little useful information is retained.  Musical theatre kid problems?  If I had a dollar for every time I got distracted I would...oh snap, is that CAKE?

*runs away*

See what I mean?  That's me.

In whatever case, I get very easily distracted when I am teaching.  Kids love to raise their hands, stop me, ask innane questions, and then I can't even remember what I was talking about after I remind them that they could have asked me that later.  They love to interrupt me by saying, "OOOOOH!  Did you make that?!?!"  Yes, kid.  I made that.  I'm the art teacher.  Stop being so surprised by my awesomeness.  Then, another kid yells, "Did you make THAT?"  No kid.  That is the Mona Lisa.  Then I try to ignore the spiraling feeling that they don't listen to anything I say.  It's gotten to the point where I hardly ever call on anyone until I'm finished with the instructions, and then I ask for questions.   

I have round stools in my classroom.  They are the bane of my existence.  Not only are they poorly constructed and uncomfortable to sit on, they squeak like crazy whenever a kid moves, and kids inevitably wiggle back and forth on the legs, leaning one way or the other until BAM!!  The stool falls over and the kid is lying on the floor, stunned.  Obviously that is a huge distraction for me.

So I have started trying to impress upon the little angels that they need to help me out with my distraction problem.  I don't call it ADD, but they know what I mean when I say, "I'm very easily distracted."  It occurred to me that in a way, I am very like the dog from the movie Up. 

You remember him, right?  Adorable.  Remember how he would stop in the middle of a thought and stare at a squirrel?  I've stolen that, and started saying to the kids, "Hey, kid.  You're being a squirrel right now."  That, I suppose, is a lot nicer than me yelling, "HEY!  STOP IT WHATEVERYOURNAMEIS!  I'M TEACHIN' HERE!"  Not that I would say that in the first place...ahem.
So far they seem to think it's cute, and it's been working.  This success prompted me to make a poster. 
You can make your own customized poster here.  It's pretty cute.  Although I would have preferred an image of a squirrel at the top, I put the dog.  I probably could have made my own using Word, but this was too easy to pass up.

1 comment:

  1. Funny post! I get how easy it is to be distracted by questions sometimes. When my students raise their hands during my instruction I will say Hands down please until am done. If the same hand keeps popping up I will ask if its an emergency(they know what I mean) At the end I will ask for questions. Sometimes I know when its going to be a goofy question and will ask before the student speaks, " Does this have something to do with our lesson?" They know I will give them the teacher " eyeball" if they are asking just to disrupt the class! Good luck with the "squirrels" !