Time. Could time arguably be the bane of a teacher’s existence? Moving from an elementary to a middle school a few years ago, I am thinking it is very likely. Most of the time I think I push through, and the students come out with skills under their belts. Then are days, like today…
It began with a question. Frankly, not the most interesting question: what are the differences between a prism and a pyramid? As per many Space and Shape classes, there were nets, building, comparing and discussing with classmates. We learned a procedure for drawing both types of 3-D shapes on dot paper and answered questions about parallel lines and perpendicular edges.
And then there was this question: “I am wondering how to challenge myself?” — the question I eagerly await, but when I hear it am usually not quite able to give as great an answer to such an awesome question. On the spot, with a few kids awaiting me too, I just blurted out, “Well, why don’t you try to build an irregular 3D shape, or maybe create a net for a new shape all together, or…something?”
Soon it was not just one, but all my students. There were fascinating discussions, problems encountered and handled, connections made, compliments given and failures moved on from. There was fascination, frustration, excitement, pride and every kid was willing to share their work, no matter how simple or complex.
On top of all this, the most amazing, incredible, even miraculous thing occurred: Time stood still.
Andrea Jennings currently teaches Grade 6’s at Nose Creek Middle School. I love to incorporate design-thinking tasks into learning and am in a constant battle with time