Mr. Johnson was leading 30-minute character classes for three different groups of children between the ages of 5 and 10. I was shadowing Gabe who is part of the 5-6 year-old group. When I walked into the classroom and saw the word "Attentiveness" on the board I had to laugh. I asked Mr. Johnson if he was going to be leading a 30-minute lesson in futility with this age group on that subject. I'm not so sure if he knew exactly what I was getting at but he gave a half-hearted chuckle. After this exchange I'm sure he knew what I meant.
He was talking to the kids about ways that they could show that they were being attentive. That included sitting up straight, not fidgeting, looking at the person who was talking, and responding as the person spoke to show that they were listening.
As he gave the list to the dozen children in the room about half of them were actively demonstrating how NOT to show attentiveness, and I think they were all boys. One little girl was answering every question correctly with her quietly-raised hand while sitting properly in her seat. (I think Grant was daydreaming of getting even with her on the soccer field, which is probably why he fell off of his chair.)
Mr. Johnson asked the children how they should respond to an adult who is talking to them and not even Miss Answer-right was raising her hand. He proceeded to give them ideas,
"You could say, 'Yes sir', or 'Yes maam', or Yes Coach', or 'Yes mom', or 'Yes dad', or maybe 'Yes grandpa', or 'Yes grandma'."A little girl raised her hand and Mr. Johnson called on her. She added,
"My grandma had a cat....but the dog ate it."She proved one thing for sure, some subjects are sure to get everyone's attention!