REAL Entry-Points to Engagement
As expected, nearing the end of the show, one or two of the boys in question were not acting out and being obnoxious, but rather, were sleeping. However, instead of me having to do anything about it, one of our lowest boys (who we’ve had difficulty getting to engage in the classroom) realized his friends were missing out on the climax of the action. He reached over and gave his friends a nudge and said “Wake up! Things are getting lit, they’re fighting with swords!”
His tone and expression were pure and excited, and I realized that he was truly being earnest. He was engaged. This student that we've had such a hard time engaging with in class, was fully in-sync with the story’s plotline and characters. I realized that his entry-point for learning was attainable, it was just significantly different from those of his peers. The abstract had to become REAL for him to become engaged in learning, and this may be the case for many others. I had always known that I must strive to acknowledge and make multiple entry-points into learning a reality, but this experience has made planning for various entry-points a more concrete reality in my teaching toolkit.
Dan Lafferty (@MrDanLafferty) first year teacher teaching grade 8 Humanities at Nose Creek School. I’m a learner, writer and literature lover, a washed up athlete, and an amateur old soul.