I love fishing. It’s a chance to relax, be in nature and enjoy a little peace and serenity. The best part, though, is the excitement of setting the hook on a really big fish. That’s the beginning of an enjoyable struggle whose outcome is always uncertain.
Usually the hardest part is setting the hook just right.
In teaching we often feel like we are fishing without a hook, trying every strategy we can to get kids excited, asking questions and taking learning seriously. Despite our noble efforts, we fall short many times. It’s usually not that our lesson was poorly conceived as a whole; it’s that we never got started in the right direction and so things just sort of… fizzled out.
If we can’t set the hook, especially in a class driven by Big Questions, then students quickly lose interest and usually we can’t get them back.
So what is the best way to set that hook?
Bring in a little philosophy.