Friday, October 12

A gentler approach to dealing with daydreamers

Kids who are fidgety and easily distracted aren't just not paying attention — they are paying attention to something else, according to a teacher at the East Village Community School who has made it her goal to help those kids. A recent New York Times article profiles Roberta Valentine's efforts to understand what drives daydreamers. Inspired by child pyschologist Mel Levine's notion of "mind trips," Valentine has her students write books about what they think about when they daydream, instead of or in addition to referring daydreamers to specialists. By doing this, Valentine helps her kids learn what distracts them and how to seek help to stay on task, writes psychologist Susan Engel in the Times. It's an interesting approach and one that sounds to me like it would make kids who march to the beat of their own drum feel included, not alienated, in the classroom.

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