Saturday, September 21, 2019

The 3 F's

I’m so close to sending my book off to the printer and that’s a satisfying moment. The book is based on little lists or sayings that condense effective pedagogy into a pithy, memorable form. Things like the 3D’s and the 4H’s. (“What are those?” you wonder. Well, you’ll just have to buy the book. Stay tuned.)

So when talking about the brain stem and its function to help us survive, I invoke the three F’s to describe our choices when responding to danger: Fight, flight, freeze. It’s a handy way to remember and an important reminder that when we feel any level of fear, stress or anxiety, we go immediately to that instinctive center in the brain and can’t access higher thinking skill. 

But thanks to Orff colleague Dawn Haylett, who shared a story about a teacher’s secret of success, I have a whole new meaning to the 3 F’s and am tempted to add a chapter to my book! Because it speaks volumes about what it takes to be an effective teacher. In short: 

“Be fun.”
“Be friendly.”
“Be firm.”

Love it! And I believe all three are necessary and perhaps in the order given. The last without the first two is just grouchy. The first two without the last is opening yourself up to the extravagance of kids going too far. 

But all three together—why, as good a summary as any about what it takes to be a teacher that kids will rejoice in, respect and remember. Which is now the beginnings of  a new Chapter: “Learning the 3R’s through the 3R’s.”

Or something like that. 

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