Today I realized that one of the most complex things that I do is simplification. Distilling a concept into its component parts takes time and energy, and it is a very hard thing to get right. Sometimes, I wish I had the writers from those cop procedurals (CSI, NCIS, any other acronym) who are able to bring forth the perfect metaphor at the right time.
Oh writers! How you like to jab at us.
But the truth is that these pearls are hard to come by, and for many of us, the metaphor only works if it is universal. Universality is hard to come by when experiences in a classroom differ greatly.
Do you have any metaphors that you use on a regular basis? I would love to add a few more to my repertoire.
I’ll share one that I find works for students trying to understand why they need to use the success criteria. All credit to Mrs. Smith (@smithwin) for the genesis of this idea.
(written as the script I say)
Imagine you are a baker. A client comes in and orders a birthday cake. When she arrives back in two weeks you present her with a dozen of the greatest cookies ever made. Is she going to be happy or upset? (pause for answers) Most likely, upset. Why? Because she wanted a cake. The same goes for the assignments you hand in. I let you know what I am expecting, so that I get my cake. Now, you can make me cake and cookies if you want. I would love to see and try your cookies, but make sure that I get my cake first.