I don’t need a volcano

It was Thursday. My 4 year old was telling me about this volcano experiment they had done at school. He was so excited he kept tripping over his words – ‘brought’ became ‘branged’ and singulars and plurals were all over the place. His eyes smiled at the memory of ‘lava’ spewing out of the volcano. His arms moved so vigorously that I swear his little feet lifted off the floor for a split second. It truly was magic, as @JamesLRamsay said:

I was immensely happy to see him this excited about school and about learning something new. It’s a good thing I wasn’t around his teacher at the time, or might have planted a huge kiss in her cheek out of gratitude for inspiring my son this way.

But I have to confess something: I was a bit jealous, too.

Why?

You see, as a teacher I live for these moments. I wish I could get people this excited about the subjects that I teach. But without mock-up volcanoes and pretend lava, I really am at a disadvantage, here 🙂

Thinking back to the great ski instructor I met last winter I know great teaching is not just about bells and whistles (or explosions and colours). I don’t need a volcano… or do I?

What has helped you – or your students – get excited about learning something new?

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