Both of us, Chuck and I, have worked with people who are easily distracted. I’ve taught many, and not just those with formally diagnosed ADHD. Have you seen the tee shirts? “Look, something shiny!” “They just don’t understand – Look! A chicken!” Or our favorite, “SQUIRREL!”
I’m reminded of certain days in class when keeping kids focused was just not going to happen. Imagine the following conversation in an intervention reading group for an online middle school.
Me (Teacher): Open your books to page X, “The Prince and the Pauper.”
Student J: Prince died.
Me: (thinking “Squirrel!”) Yes, he did. This story is written by Mark Twain. What do you know about Mark Twain? Have you read any of his other works?
(Student L. logs in late, not using her name, but as “Llama.”
Me: Llama, please log out and log in with your real name.
(Student logs out and returns, using the screen name “Lori Loves Llamas.”
Me: Hi, Lori. I like llamas, too. Open your book to page…
(Lori types into chat): I like llamas because a llama spit on my brother.
Some days, I should just go back to bed.