Jumping for Joy

Ten Lords a Leaping

Ten Lords a Leaping (Photo credit: Cindy97007)

When you think about starting your new classes this term, are you jumping for joy? Research suggests that our students will learn more if we are. At the very least, we need to convey a positive attitude toward them and enthusiasm for the subjects that we teach. The nine ladies dancing that we featured in yesterday’s post probably represented the invited guests at a medieval holiday feast. Today’s “leaping lords” would have been paid expert dancers who entertained the guests between the courses of a long meal. (I didn’t just make this up–click here.)

Retired Ontario teacher Elono Hartjes has blogged on this topic, including this quote from Wade Boggs:

A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.

If we invite our student-guests to “dance” at intervals during class, then we, the pros, can display our skills to keep things interesting as a long class progresses.  We can’t all enter our classrooms dancing like Ellen DeGeneres entering the set of her show, but we can show up with a smile and some physical energy. As we teach, we can point out the “amazingness” of the concepts that we’re sharing. We can make it clear that we’re having a good time up there at the front of the class. While I teach, I intentionally celebrate my nerdiness and my lifelong fascination with A&P. I love it when a student observes, “You really love this stuff, don’t you?”

Why, yes, I do.

Need a few dance tips? Borrow a few moves from Ellen…

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