Friday, September 29, 2017

Teach 180: Limits Aren't Just for Calculus (Day 22)

One of the things I love about being where I teach is that teachers are welcome to be a part of the student community.  A few years ago, I dusted off my violin and played with the string ensemble at school.  That doesn't work in my schedule this year, because I am teaching a class when strings is scheduled.  However, I am able to sing with chorale and singing as part of a larger group is something I really enjoy.  It helps me to see students as more than "just a math student".

The Processing Speed of the Fuzzy Brain
Near the end of chorale today students were starting to loose focus.  I know my mind was starting to get fuzzy, too.  Keep in mind that classes are 1 hour long this year due to a change in our bell schedule.  The director of chorale recognized we had reached our limit.  To switch things up he had us sing an acapella tune that he made up on the spot.  He started with the bases, giving them a line to repeat.  Next came the altos, then the tenors and finally the sopranos.  Once all the groups were singing together there was clapping and swaying and smiles on the faces of many of the students.  It was just the break we needed before singing through a piece one last time.

There are times when I see students are at their limits of focus, but too often I power though rather than taking a momentary break or detour.  What the teacher did in chorale today was clearly valuable and allowed the class to finish strong.  I'll need to think back to that moment when I encounter a similar loss of focus with my students in the future. 

1 comment:

  1. Very thought provoking. Thank you for taking the time to share and giving us something to think deeply about.