This session teaches you some strategies to make your classroom teaching more pleasurable and enjoyable for both you and your students.
Your secret sauce refers to your natural interest or talent.
Identify the things which you enjoy doing during your free time, something which absolutely relaxes you and helps you drift off into a world of your own and where time stands still. For me, my favorite pastimes are baking, sewing, craft work, needle work, gardening, playing with pets, listening to music, doing yoga. As you can see, I am a very creative, hands-on person and that is my secret sauce.
Then bring your secret sauce into your classroom. So if you like cooking, try to use cooking or baking in the classroom so you can teach children how to cook as well. All you have to do is to make it easy enough for young children to participate and to look out for opportunities to facilitate language, science and math skills. I use ‘The Children’s Step-by-step Cook Book’ by Angela Wilkes from DK.
My newest ebook entitled ‘Our Learning Journey As Eco Explorers’, is the first of the ‘Our Learning Journey’ series which documents how the activities in a particular theme unfolds using the inquiry-based learning approach. Those of you who already have this beautifully illustrated resource guide will quickly see how I used my secret sauce to spice up all those activities so that I can bring them to life. There are lots of hands-on activities such as craft, cooking, science experiments, music and movement and research which are all part of my secret sauce. All these activities which I love not only help me stay enthusiastic about my work, but also provides young children with a multi-faceted approach to learning and exploring about a particular topic or theme.
The concept of finding and using your secret sauce is not new. For those of you who know Sir Ken Robinson, who is the go-to person for all things creativity and education, he calls it ‘The Element’. According to him, it is important for us to find the thing which we not only enjoy, but one which defines us and takes us to that place where we are self-motivated to work towards a cause which we hold close to our heart. Sir Ken Robinson advices that if we can find a job which allows us to be in our element, we will naturally thrive in it because we will be internally driven to do well in something which we enjoy so much. This is precisely why you need to find your secret sauce and use it in your classroom.
“We all shape the circumstances and realities of our own lives, and we can also transform them. People who find their element are more likely to evolve a clearer sense of their life’s ambitions and set a course for achieving them.” (The Element: How finding your passion changes everything by Ken Robinson, 2009)
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Note: I am running a raffle this week and I’m giving away my GreatStart4Teachers online course (worth $497) as well as some really good books. All you have to do is to go to iTunes, subscribe to my podcast, rate and write a review and three lucky winners will be chosen and announced during our next podcast.