I’ve been volunteering at a local school and it has reminded me of so many of the children I used to work with. Here are a few:
1. The sleepy child – frequent yawning and general lethargy can indicate a child is not getting enough sleep. Between after school activities, dinner, bath time, homework and some play or relax time, we all know how difficult it can be to get children into bed early. This will require a discussion with parents to try to determine the reason for the lack of sleep and some suggestions to support and help them establish routines if needed.
2. The fidgeter – if their fidgeting is distracting to you, it is most likely distracting to them as well and could be interfering with academic success. Some have had success with letting children sit on exercise balls. Often it is just a matter of being aware and giving them an opportunity to move about for a break. Most teachers have their own ‘tricks of the trade’ to manage this in the classroom.
3. the child with a speech disorder – by the middle of grade 1, it is a good idea to have a speech pathologist listen to any children who are still not enunciating some sounds correctly, even /r/. While it may be developmental in nature, many of the sounds should be established by then and a SLP will be able to tell you if a child should be recommended for support.
4. the squinter – always watch for children who show signs of visual problems and have parents take them in for an eye exam. I always like to eliminate vision and hearing issues, especially if the child is having difficulty with reading.