They tap. They make random noises. They whistle. They try to push your buttons, mostly because they don’t understand the material. In this time of crazed test-mania, we have progressively more of those kids, I believe, because we are required to teach to a test that may be years above the operating level of some students.
It’s important to remember that those kids mostly want attention. They want not to feel lost and expelled from the academic loop. They want to be heard. They want that teacher from earlier years who seemed to be in their corner.
Eduhonesty: There’s no fix for the crazed test-mania right now — short of the zombie apocalypse — but we can find a few minutes to talk to the lost kids, even maybe convince them to try some after school tutoring. We can let them know we care. That stops some of the random tapping and noise.
Here is the challenge for American education: How will we reengage these students who we effectively expelled from the learning process when we handed them the book they could not read to get ready for the test they could not pass?
Noneducators may be sitting out there thinking, “Why would anyone do such a thing to a kid?” They need to understand the teachers did not have any choice — even though many initially went to administration to express their concerns. I’ll add more on this later.