Beach carnival

Back to the Beach is the theme of this week’s Carnival of Education, hosted by What It’s Like On the Inside. Ms. Cornelius wonders why so many of her students are on Ritalin. How much is enough?

Me-Ander recalls the days when children were expected to sit quietly in class. Teachers had to speak clearly but never needed to shout.

. . . if I was a kid today, I’d be considered “learning disabled.” The experts would diagnose me as suffering from “attention disorders.” I didn’t suffer from the “disorder” when I was a kid, since the classroom was quiet.

One of the first things I noticed when I started to go into classrooms as a reporter was how noisy and distracting the environment is. It’s got to be a real challenge for kids who have trouble focusing.

About Joanne


  1. Mrs. Davis says:

    I had a wonderful Latin teacher, Miss Dietz, to whom I owe what little knowledge I have of English grammar, who spoke in a whisper. My mother tells the story that at back to school night after her presentation the father of one of my classmates said, “My son complains he can never hear you and now I understand why.”

    She explained to him, “Then you’ll have to learn to listen better, too.”

  2. My son isn’t ADD or ADHD, but he does have auditory processing disorder (he has problems listening, especially in a noisy enviroment). There isn’t much they can do in the classroom besides for putting Tennis Balls on the feet of all the chairs and desks.

    Its really not that big of a deal, and he ended up on honor roll… but I suspect he would do even better in a well behaved (read quieter class).

  3. In my experience I have found that noisy classrooms make it more disctracting for kids to learn. They do seem to be noisier than years before.


  4. thanks for the link
    I really consider today’s classroom a horror and feel sorrier for the kids than for my fellow teachers. It may sound strange, but it’s true.

  5. My second grade teacher (this is back in the 1960’s) was really strict about silence. Even when we were doing worksheets or something, she required strict silence. No fidgeting, no tapping, no scuffling the feet.

    I was terrible at silence. I was one of those kids who would race through the work, then be bored and cause problems. At that age, I couldn’t just sit and read a book. Mrs Stephens was a veteran who had seen kids like me before, however, and knew what to do. She told me and my fellow restless student George Demotsis that, if we both had finished all of our work and had nothing to do, we could go to the back of the classroom and play chess. However, as everyone knows, chess must be played in complete silence.

    It worked. Two or three times a week George and I got to play chess silently (although I don’t recall that we very often got to finish a game). This kept us a lot more quiet and, possibly, the mental exercise was helpful. At least it did no harm and it preserved the silence that Mrs Stephens so dearly loved.