We recently spoke with a middle school history teacher at a public school in California. He shared an example of an excellent question posed by one of his 8th graders and we feel compelled to share it!
Late last year he was in the middle of a lesson about the American Revolutionary War when one of his students asked the question,
“Where did the soldiers go to the bathroom?”
Many of the students began laughing and snickering about the seemingly silly question given that bathroom jokes are irresistible to teenagers (who are we kidding - they’re still hilarious as adults 😂). One particularly outspoken student even said,
Instead of pushing the question aside or not giving the student the time of day, the teacher pounced on this as a teaching opportunity.
“That’s a fantastic question, and one that so few people think about!”
Instead of getting back to the lesson plan, he spent the remainder of the class diving deep on the subject. He taught about the importance of sanitation and how it impacts the spread of disease. He taught about the onset of modern sewage systems and how they impact urban design. He even taught about the waste disposal process and how you had to burn the waste with particular types of fossil fuel.
We’d love to think that every teacher would respond in kind, but that might be wishful thinking. There are likely tons of occasions when students are simply laughed at and bullied with little recourse. Those are the students that stop asking questions and stop caring about school.
Hopefully Vectr might play a small roll in stemming that tide.