Q. I just want to be able to reach my students with this activity and not be boring.
A. Our students are so talented, but some of us spend an entire year with them and don’t even notice! Last year I had a student named Juan who did Hip-Hop at a very high level. When he cut loose once in class, it was like America’s Got Talent. This normally shy kid had come to me from another class where he had been shamed because he couldn’t learn French grammar. He came to me with an F and left with a B, and I think that the dancing had a lot to do with that. Juan received repeated requests to hit the stage (the small area where we act out stories in our classroom) and he sometimes obliged us with a spin or two and it just lifted us all up so much. We even swept and wiped down the floor for him. I guess you could file this answer under the idea that play counts in education. But, if we don’t feel comfortable going that far into things with students, to answer your question, we remember that we are all different and when we use comprehensible input all we really have to do is speak to our students in ways that they can understand and that are interesting to them. That is all we have to do. And now, thinking about it, I see that the only reason I could do cheerleading and all that was because I had spent a long time learning how to do the comprehensible input teaching skills first. So also must professional musicians go through the early levels of mastering technique before they can express themselves as artists.