Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Quiet

Teaching artists who have ever found themselves struggling over how to approach a young person who could not, or would not, speak aloud in class, may be interested in a recent post over at the blog Unlocking the Classroom. Lizzie Hetzer, formerly a teaching artist, now a classroom teacher, recounts a recent  experience working with a girl who was usually silent. A useful and inspiring story from the field:

"Selective Mutism is a low incidence anxiety disorder in which a child does not speak in one or more social settings. It occurs in less than 1% of the population and is more common in girls than in boys. Because children typically speak in the home setting, teachers play an important role in identifying and finding appropriate treatment for students with selective mutism. When asked to speak, they may blush, fidget, avoid eye contact and become increasingly rigid. They may even avoid asking to go to the bathroom. My student places her index finger in her mouth when she is nervous. She does this less now..."
Keep reading at Unlocking the Classroom.

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