How do you start a new lesson? Do you wade in slowly? Do you dive in cleanly? Or, Do you take a running leap and jump right in?
I suppose in my 20 years as an educator, I have done all of the above. Sometimes, I am apprehensive about a lesson I am introducing, not really sure how my students will respond to it. I dip my toes in and then take slow steps to test the water. If the water is warm enough, I swim around and enjoy, or if it’s too cold for comfort, I gasp and make a hasty retreat. With other lessons, I am ultra-prepared. Taking only a moment to adjust my goggles, I execute a perfect, streamlined dive. Once in the water, I am off and swimming, carefree. And, then there are the other kinds of lessons. The type of lessons where I take a running leap and cannonball my way into them. I am running toward the deep end knowing I am going to create a huge splash. Those folks lounging on the edge are going to get mighty wet. Yep, they are going to be dripping. They might choose to grumble and walk away, or they might see how much fun it is and take a running leap of their own.
Lately, due to all the standardized testing hoopla, I almost lost my way. I almost forgot how important those cannonball lessons are for everyone: my students, myself, and my administration. Last week, I decided to cannonball my way into a lesson. I skipped what I had planned and introduced my students to a class ning. All of sudden, there they were, the sounds of laughter, excitement, and good old-fashioned fun. My students were energized and completely engaged, sending all kinds of comments flying about the room. Now, that was a cannonball! The biggest surprise- the administrators lounging on the side took a running leap and jumped right into the fray.
So, what types of lessons are you planning these days?