There are several effervescent students in a class I visited today. They have so much energy for life that being still enough to write a few sentences was downright tricky. Not having anything to lose, I experimented with the idea of being quiet together at school. Without condemning or redirecting, I gently put my hands on the writers’ shoulders. Immediately, I felt their bodies calm and they began to write…and write. Then students who were done writing, helped students by simply placing their hands on the shoulders of a peer at work. After a few minutes, the energy in the room changed and the buzz of thinking minds took over. I learned that sometimes a calming presence is all that is required…even in the classroom.