Ever feel as though you are being pulled in seven directions? Or asked to do so many things at once that you dont feel as though you are doing any of them well? If you are a teacher I feel certain you can relate. Great. Hold that thought.
You may have noticed how students behavioral concerns often manifest in clusters. The deficits just blend together. The child struggles to follow directions, get attention appropriately, keep hands to self and the list goes on. Yes, there is a clumpage effect. Rarely is there just one skill on which to work. Therein lies the challenge. There are numerous skill deficits, yet the brain can only concentrate well on one thing at a time.
If we want our students to be successful in strengthening positive behaviors, we cant ask them to focus on changing all of the problems simultaneously. Brains of all ages shut down when overloaded. Our students have a greater chance of experiencing success when we ask them to devote their attention and effort to changing one goal, and specifically, one that is most attainable. If a child is successful with that goal, he or she will be more likely to put forth greater effort on the next one.
Distractibility is already a huge issue in our society. [Squirrel.] As educators we need to not add to this problem by asking our students to exponentially divide their focus when trying to strengthen positive behaviors.
PS I am aware the only dictionary that acknowledges clumpage as a real word is the one that is in my head.