It usually happens at the most inconvenient of times, like now, when I am on a small plane with little room to maneuver. It’s called Restless Leg Syndrome – for a reason. The affliction starts with a neurological impulse traveling through your leg forcing you to move it. Once you move the leg and adjust, you are fine…for about 30 seconds, at which time the cycle repeats.
Unfortunately, I am also overtaken by Restless Mouth Syndrome. Okay, so that might not be a real thing, but I am a talker. My brain regularly encourages me to verbalize my thoughts. I can ignore my internal voice for a while, but inevitably the brain wins and I talk.
The brain is the control center for the body and it is survival-oriented. It will get its needs met one way or another, so trying to ignore the needs is ill advised. The point? Some learners need to talk and others need to move. So, the more we embed opportunities for socialization and movement into our lesson plans, the more we decrease the likelihood students will talk and move independently in a way that often disrupts instruction.
I am reminded of this point when I see a stream or body of water flowing. Stopping the water is usually not realistic, however, it can be channeled – just like the behavioral needs of talking and moving. I give a huge shout out to the beautiful natural wonder of the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon, which happened to flow right outside my hotel room for inspiring this post.