Candice Anderson

Antsy Andy: Inspiration Behind the Character

The inspiration behind Antsy Andy came from several different avenues, but the main avenue came from my students. I have had the pleasure of working with thousands of students over the past fourteen years, and some of them were just like Andy. They could not sit in their seats even for a bribe. Blow-pops were offered, panda bucks (the school dollar) were given at minute intervals, extra recess was even up for grabs. Nothing seemed to work for some of these students!

The little tricks they would try to come up with for themselves to combat these “antsy” feelings were pretty hilarious at times, as well. One student thought it was a great idea to conduct his own science lab in his desk when he was finished with his work. He thought creating a new type of slime would keep him from talking or leaving his desk. Obviously, that did not end so well. The slime was not contained properly, unless you count being smeared inside his math book proper; his work was no longer being completed because he was too excited to work on his experiment; and the sudden financial gain he received from selling the newly created slime was more “inspiration” than the little man could quite handle. Other students brought baby dolls and legos to keep themselves occupied, some brought hair brushes to comb their hair when they got antsy, and still others decided to bring footballs and basketballs to play with…in the classroom.

The little tricks they would try to come up with for themselves to combat these “antsy” feelings were pretty hilarious at times, as well. One student thought it was a great idea to conduct his own science lab in his desk when he was finished with his work. He thought creating a new type of slime would keep him from talking or leaving his desk. Obviously, that did not end so well. The slime was not contained properly, unless you count being smeared inside his math book proper; his work was no longer being completed because he was too excited to work on his experiment; and the sudden financial gain he received from selling the newly created slime was more “inspiration” than the little man could quite handle. Other students brought baby dolls and legos to keep themselves occupied, some brought hair brushes to comb their hair when they got antsy, and still others decided to bring footballs and basketballs to play with…in the classroom.

 After helping all of these students create more constructive plans to help with the ants in their pants, I thought it would be wise to put some of the ideas in a book. Students with ADHD or ADD can sometimes feel different or singled out from their peers because of the need for such tools and interventions, so Andy was created for those students to see that they are not the only children in this world that have ADHD or ADD. Children have been told for decades that they have “ants in their pants.” So, the thought of making the character an antsy little ant was a no-brainer. It was also a neutral character and one that children could remember well.

I hope you enjoy reading “Antsy Andy” as much as I enjoyed writing it! 

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