Packing and getting ready to go to the beach for an enjoyable day can be a daunting challenge. You need to get the cooler ready, the beach bags loaded with everything, sunglasses, towels … you know the drill!
My own biggest hurdle is to get all of the beach chairs loaded and carried to the sand. Several trips. Several bumps on the shins trying to maneuver steps, etc. Why do I need so many chairs?? Glad you asked. The answer is quite simple. I never know what kind of situation I may find myself in once I finally get to my place of encampment for the day. While some minimalists may be content with one chair, or even just a beach towel, are perfectly I require at least three— and sometimes four— chairs to satisfy my “beach needs”.
The beach I visit, with a dear friend, has some plastic Adirondack chairs that are left for the use of any and all beach-goers. The only problem is that they are first come, first served.
If I get there too late, I don’t get the chair which is perfect for me to take to the edge of the surf. So, I need to take my old, well-worn chair (chair #1) in case I have to use it instead of the provided one to sit in the water. I also need to make sure that I have one that is just right to recline for sunbathing (chair # 2). If I decide to maybe take a nap, I have a great chair that has a built in pillow which accommodates my nap perfectly (chair # 3). Enjoying a little liquid beach refreshment (the kind with umbrellas) dictates that the chair has a cup holder (chair # 4). Quite maddening, isn’t it?
I know that this seems a bit excessive. Maybe in my previous life I was a princess after all. Whatever the case, I like to go prepared for whatever issues I may face and have to deal with. Making those adjustments and coping with problems are much easier if the right equipment is at my fingertips.
You may ask, “What does this have to do with classroom learning?” Think of teachers you may have had who came to class with only a beach towel. One presentation, maybe boring, maybe ineffective, but that was all they had. You (the student) had to grasp from that all you were to ever know about that particular concept from the window of your professor’s idea.
Now, suppose you have a teacher who comes to class overloaded with books, reference materials, experiments, posters, videos or video clips, (a virtual walking reference library). He or she is equipped with more than enough materials and techniques to corral your undivided interest in the subject of the day. That teacher is ready and prepared for any type of student, any type of question or any type of situation. He or she wants to make sure that each and every student has an opportunity to learn by offering them a variety of options for mastering the material.
When looking over your preparations for your upcoming semester, ask yourself “How many chairs does it take for me to go to the beach?”