Channel the Behavior
It usually happens at the most inconvenient time, like when you’re trying to go to sleep – or on a plane with little room to maneuver. It’s called restless legs syndrome. It starts with an overwhelming neurological urge to move your leg. You can’t ignore it, so you move your leg – and are fine for about 30 seconds – at which time the sensation overtakes you again and the cycle repeats.
In related news, I tend to suffer from what I call restless mouth syndrome. Okay, so that’s not be a real thing, but I’m a talker. My brain regularly encourages me to verbalize my thoughts. I try to ignore my internal voice as best as able, but inevitably I’m worn down, the brain wins, and I talk.
The brain is the control center for the body and is survival oriented. It will get its needs met one way or another, so trying to ignore them is ill-advised. The point? Some learners need to talk and others need to move. So, the more we embed these activities into our teaching efforts, the less likely students will be to talk and move independently in ways that often disrupt our instruction.
I am always reminded of this point when I see a stream or body of water flowing. Stopping the water is not realistic, however, it can be channeled – just like the behavioral needs of talking and moving.
Thanks to the beautiful natural wonder of the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon, which was the original inspiration for this post.