My classes had been getting so bogged down with theories, accommodations, and strategies that I was starting to forget why I'd wanted to be a teacher in the first place. Today in class we did an activity on different ways to teach vocabulary. My partner and I had zipped through the exercise, and I was standing around in an effort to stretch my chair-weary legs (four and half hours of class is a lot of sitting).
The group next to me was struggling with how to get their imaginary students to remember the word algorithm. I immediately started doing a little dance. When I explained that I was an alga dancing because dancing requires rhythm I got two blank stares. You know, an alga with rhythm? Alga-rhythm? Imagine I was wearing all green? Nothing. Fine. I went back to bouncing around and stretching my legs and wondering how they could not see the connection. They spent another few minutes trying to come up with something. Finally I asked them what an algorithm was, and they launched into a definition of the steps for a math problem (yada, yada, yada). So I demonstrated, again, my example of an alga dancing, but this time I did the waltz and counted out loud. One. Two. Three. STEPS. Now they no longer thought it was stupid (and yes, that was the word that was used to describe my idea) and even used it as their example when they presented to the class. Ha! They did ask me to be a guest dancer. I chose the foxtrot for that.
I want to be the teacher that dresses all in green and dances around the room. Because you know what, no one in my class would forget algorithm if I did that.