“Some of our children leave their learning on the carpet”…..

This is what a year two teacher said to me this week and it provided a useful opportunity for a discussion about some of the children in his class and why it really seems like they do leave their learning on the carpet! I know that many of the children in his class have experienced lots of changes and upheaval in their lives and some are still living with domestic violence, unpredictable parenting and general chaos. They also frequently do not have enough sleep. The combination of these factors result in them being anxious, having poor concentration and being hyper vigilant.

As i explained to him, for these children the actual process of sitting on the carpet and listening can be difficult enough and is an achievement in itself. Their minds and bodies are already full of feelings of anxiety and worry resulting in them finding it hard to retain much more information. I suggested he tries to accept this is the reality for these children and explained that gentle and reassuring reminders when they are back in their seats and trying to remember what to do can go a long way in decreasing their anxiety and therefore create some space for learning.

As i explored with him, how many of us as adults find it difficult to hold on to information when we are preoccupied with other things!

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