Different.. Quirky… Wonderful
I was just reminded of several behavior strategies, all gleaned from this one video clip attached below. I happened upon it (again) yesterday. I was amused and refreshed by this kid's quirky, funny, odd, verbal and talented nature. Some of his comments were surprising. Some of his responses were off. He spontaneously danced. He invaded Ellen's personal space on numerous occasions – to some degree, all endearing behaviors, given his age.
Yet, I know these same behaviors can be the source of unrelenting frustration for teachers, especially as a student gets older. I also know my tolerance for these behaviors lowers as the school year progresses. This got me to thinking about patterns that unfold for some students as they progress through their K-12 journey.
Students come to us full of joy and exuberance when they enter school in the primary years. They love school. They are eager. They want to please. This is a good thing. However, for many of our students, something happens as they get older that stifles their love for school, love for learning, and potentially the love for the teachers they encounter on a daily basis.
I can't change the system, but I know my daily interactions and mindset can have a huge impact on students' behaviors and attitudes. I'm thinking I need to work harder at seeing the joy and wonder hidden in my students, especially as they get older. I need to look for their talents, even when the education system may not readily highlight them. More than anything, I know I need to laugh more and take things in stride.
Inside all of the students with whom I work is the kid in this video. I just have to do a better job of celebrating that fact.