For those who don’t know, its that holy time in the Jewish year: Passover. Yes indeed! From Friday last week to Saturday this upcoming week there’s no leavened bread, and I need to use all new silverware, plates, cups, etc…Which means i’ll be using paper and plastic for the rest of the week 🙂
Anyway, the reason I bring up the holiday is that on the first two nights (friday and saturday this year) we Jews have what we call a “Seder” which in English means “order.” On those nights, we join with families and friends to remember the Jews’ miraculous exit from the land of Egypt. During these seders one may find a leader, or leaders, walking the rest of the participants through the order of the evening, from washing hands, to eating bitter herbs with matzoh, we walk step by step through the evening all the while recalling our people’s history. The whole point of this process however is to bring about questioning. Throughout the evening we take a number of steps that some may deem odd. Some families may have the tradition to move a table, others to move plates, and some to stand on chairs! All of this is towards engaging the audience and eliciting questions from the participants. Bringing this thinking into the classroom, I think we could all enhance our teaching by doing something different that makes a student question “Why.” Maybe its a funny picture in a powerpoint, or jumping on a table, but any which way we do it, a student can be engaged by switching things up a bit. And, for that, making a fool out of ourselves, or stepping out of our comfort zone is worth it.