Understand the Mistaken Goal: Undue Attention
Attention. This is a difficult thing for teachers to understand. Are the students misbehaving or are they seeking support? That is always the difficulty we face. As we learn in this chapter, the main reason for the attention seeking behaviour is that the student wants the adult to involve them and to involve them usefully.
According to the Mistaken Goal Chart, when a child displays Undue Attention, the adult may feel annoyed, irritated, worried or guilty. They may try to coax the child into compliance just do it for them, knowing that they can do it themselves. (page 12) Instead, a better response could include setting up and following routines, engaging the student in problem solving or even involving the student in a useful task in order to gain useful attention. (page 13)
Involving the students meaningfully gives them a feeling of belonging, which in turn increases motivation and engagement.
Do you have any students displaying the mistaken goal of undue attention? How do you deal with them? Do your strategies work? How could you change your tactics to better support your student(s)?