Here at The Mailbox, we were celebrating the start of autumn with a Mexican fiesta. Editor Diane Badden (hostess with the mostest at our Be the Difference blog) and I both bemoaned our lack of proper fiesta headwear—a very large sombrero. I suggested that The Mailbox editors are surely crafty enough that we could all come up with sombreros with a few toilet paper tubes and some crepe paper. I suggested something along the lines of, “Come on, show us your inner MacGyver.”
Now, surely you remember (or have heard of) MacGyver, the be-mulleted agent who could foil a fiendish plot and fly out of harm’s way in a helicopter made of two old Subaru bucket seats, a rubber band, and the foil wrapper from a stick of gum (which, when coupled with a pair of paper clips and a yo-yo becomes a deadly weapon).
Teachers are MacGyvers in our own way. Sure, today’s lesson plan might say something about multiplying decimals, but if you sense there are a majority of students who just don’t have the fresh multiplication facts right in their heads, guess what? That’s right, you’re taking a few steps back, and you’re improvising. On the flip side, today’s lesson plan might say something about getting your students up to the interactive whiteboard so they can outline their oral presentations of famous 20th century children’s authors. What happens when there aren’t enough famous authors to go around?
Well, MacGyver, bust out that brain of yours, grab a gum wrapper, a safety pin, and some rubber cement—it’s time to improvise! Do you have enough copies of that literacy worksheet handy? How quickly can you print out 27 copies of a hundred chart? Would it be wrong, in March, to use the Thanksgiving-themed graphic organizer?
Share your story about your best (or not-so-best) MacGyver-like teacher improvisation. I’ll select one commenter to receive two free (upper elementary) books from The Mailbox books. Just be sure to leave your comment before the end of the day, Wednesday, October 12.