Finally, after hours of surfing on the Internet with my pug snoring at my feet, it came to me…just be myself animated and nutty, kind of like a cross between Bill Nye and Deb Rossignol. So I did just that. I let my mind roam back to my childhood and remembered a Sunday morning when I was about seven or eight and I was walking the top rail above the pig pen dressed in my finest clothes on my uncle’s farm in Iowa. Gravity did the rest. Needless to say, I was fully engaged with the soil, and other things.
So I decided to reenact the event and cover myself in mud from head to toe. And that is exactly what I did. I burst into the classroom and shouted excitedly, “Guys, I really need your help. Mrs. Phillips has asked me to go out and find different kind of soil that would be good for growing plants. I have been digging in the dirt around Chet’s Creek and have been unsuccessful. The job is just too big! I need help! So, I need you to help me look.”
The kids immediately blurted out, “What happened to you?” I knew they were hooked! What followed was an amazing dirt digging, soil gathering, slide making extravaganza. After coming inside we explored the slides under the doc-cam and the kids made wonderful observations about dirt (actually humus, clay and sand). The children stayed engaged for the whole lesson. I knew then, at least in some small way, that I had contributed to the building of new schema within our students. It feels pretty good to go with your gut and have it work out. I owe a huge thanks to Kathy and Randi for letting me be me, an animated and nutty dirt doctor.