Photo by Jeffrey Beall
I’ve written before about Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes as a great model of the easily misidentified gifted kid. He is especially useful as an example of our high-energy students, brimming with psychomotor intensity.
Energetic, But Not Athletic
This particular comic struck me, as it highlights an additional issue this child has to deal with: they are physically overactive, yet may not be particularly skilled at, or even interested in, organized sports.
Despite their energy, they simply aren’t athletic.
Susie: Why didn’t you sign up to play baseball like the rest of the boys? Don’t you like sports?
Calvin: I dunno. I’d rather just run around.
Calvin is terrible at organized sports. What seems like a perfect outlet for his energy ends up attracting even more negative attention. And this energetic kid (now embarrassed) may also be highly-sensitive, resulting in a real emotional mess.
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Note, however, that Calvin is very successful when he can combine creativity with his physical energy. The results are the constantly evolving game of Calvinball, incredible snowman creations, and countless ways to ride his wagon.
So perhaps we shouldn’t just follow Calvin’s desire to let him run around. But we can encourage him to develop something creative with his energy. And we can highlight this as a positive skill.
Be On The Lookout
If you’ve got recess duty, take a moment to look for these kids who are running around, but aren’t playing soccer, handball, or anything else you recognize. Ask them what they’re doing and simply listen. It’s amazing what they come up with while they’re just goofing around.
Who knows, you might be able to use their strange sport as your next PE activity. What a great way to highlight a positive result this kid’s energy!