As Back-to-School assembles pencils, rulers and notebooks in store aisles, here are two stories from the inside about the impact of sensory and distractability issues (and boredom) in the school setting.
The student queries: to herself, of course.
Teacher. I’m just wondering.
- Do you like to run your fingers along the wall when you are by yourself, on your way to the teacher’s lounge?
- Have you noticed how smooth and cool the paint is on the cinder blocks?
Teacher: Do you notice all the different kinds of clouds drifting by the windows in the science room? Can you believe how blue the sky is today? Doesn’t it make you wonder why we have to be indoors all day?
- Have you tracked a lady bug’s progress on the windowsill during math class? I have.
I wonder about the bug and where she is going and why she is in our math class? Will she survive the class change or will somebody squash her as they rush by?
Teacher, when you get to go down the hall all by yourself, don’t you just want to break into a bouncy celebration, running full blast into that open space?
–In the classroom, the lesson progressing:
The student, getting antsy, does some creative writing ~
My chair’s too short and the floor is all gritty under my shoes.
Sitting sideways in my seat, I watch winter boots’ salt drifting in the air, colliding with floating dust particles.
A nearby sneeze (“excuse me”) unsettles me into feet shuffling.
I love hearing the crunchy scraping sounds: scrape…scratch…scrape.
Suddenly flushed with anxiety, I look around; I remember that I am in school. In your class, Teacher. And, there you are, full stop, mid-lesson, your look boring into me. I suspect your impatience.
I scramble to remember. What did you and the principal and my mom decide that I should do or say in these moments? I still haven’t answered you.
The kids are starting to turn toward their neighbor, exchanging snickers and discomfort at my expense.
Drat. I really can’t remember what I’m supposed to do. I am getting more upset; I can feel it.
Now I want to bolt out of here.
I am so embarrassed.
But I can’t think right now.
I am so confused.