My class is bouncing off the walls and acting out, and making jokes about the material all the time. They can’t focus or pay attention. I just don’t think they’re mature enough for this. What should I do?
This kind of question is most frequently asked about 7th graders in an Our Whole Lives for Grades 7-9 program. Here is some of the wisdom from the OWL-L email discussion group on this topic. (Note: many of these suggestions require more than two facilitators.)
Examine your assumptions about what it looks like for a person to “pay attention.”
Some people need to focus their attention on more than one thing in order to stay engaged. Make the ground rule that participants can do what they need to do to keep them engaged, as long as they are not distracting or disturbing other participants.
Respect participants’ dignity and their right to make their own decisions:
Incorporate structures that allow participants some control over the flow of conversation:
Give more focused attention:
Attend to different learning styles and needs:
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Monday, November 7, 2011.
Sidebar Content, Page Navigation
More Ways to Search
Donate to Support This Program and the Ongoing Work of the UUA
Read or subscribe to UUA.org Updates for the latest additions to our site.
Learn more about the Beliefs & Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or read our online magazine, UU World, for features on today's Unitarian Universalists. Visit an online UU church, or find a congregation near you.