During the meeting, the counselor referenced that most of his distracting behavior occurs during lectures. This was an interesting concept for me, as at my school, we have a 10 to 2 policy meaning for every 10 minutes of talking, we give the students at least 2 minutes of processing and talking time. This is a GLAD strategy which the majority of our teachers are trained in. I rarely talk for even 10 minutes though. Apparently my 14-year-old boy, who when not at school divides his time between his two jobs - reffing youth soccer and umping Little League, playing club soccer, out on the golf course, or, his one sitting activity, playing video games on his phone - is misbehaving by not being able to sit down and shut-up. Not by vandalizing property, stealing, bullying, selling drugs, but by being a wiggly 14-year-old.
Guess what though, I don't want my son to sit down and shut-up. I want him to be someone who is engaged and has questions. Should he be yelling out? No. But after a 30+ minute lecture I know that even I, a 42-year-old scholar is bored silly and feels like blurting out. I've just had more years to know how to contain it.
Now, the really sad thing about this whole thing is, that the school he attends is a very white, middle/upper class school in a wealthy suburb of San Francisco, and the teachers and students, in my humble opinion are losing out because the teachers aren't getting the support they need. There is no GLAD in place, which is a strategy to support learning for every student and there is no BEST (a school-wide positive behavior strategy). The school expects its white, middle/upper class clientele to sit still, shut up and be good. The counsellor laughed at me when I asked if classroom expectations were posted and said that is a kindergarten strategy. That surprised me as even in the 9th grade classrooms I've been in there have been expectations posted.
It is an interesting problem: the fancy school districts compared with the lower income ones. But, I believe that every school deserves to have the same strategies and trainings in place. America needs a more equal education system that gives all kids the chance to succeed. These days, telling a kid to sit still and shut up is not going to cut it.