A lot of times, sadly, fishing is about the fish that got away. I spend just as much time talking about the one that got away as I do the one that didn't. There are a lot of reasons/excuses that I can come up with, but ultimately it comes down to the final result - no fish.
Teaching is a lot like fishing
If you think about what I just described, replace the metaphor with a lesson that can't be beat. No "fish tale" will outshine this lesson that you created and implemented with perfection. You have done your research, prepped and practiced, and you were sure that this was going to be the chance of a lifetime to bring home a story about how you landed the big one. Unfortunately, the reality of a great lesson is that they don't always work the way that you intended. Once again, there are a lot of reasons/excuses that we can create in order to explain it, but ultimately it comes down to the final result - bad lesson.
To be honest, I've had plenty of these days (fishing more than teaching, but you get the point). Yes, there were some great days of teaching where I was able to bring in all kinds of tools, realia, and fun into my lessons so that the kids were totally engaged. Something just wasn't right. I was missing that "hook" that we call the retention piece so that the kids could come back in the next day and continue the conversation about what we had done in class.
Move ahead to 2011 and insert an iPad into my classroom setting (as well as a whole new arsenal of Web2.0 tools). Since submerging myself into the world of technology as an educational tool, my students have felt the benefits and I now have plenty of "fish tales" that were simply not possible without the redefinition (as seen in the SAMR Scale). Now, I have all this technology at my disposal, but what do I do with it? Well, let's break this down by segments of a lesson (with fishing narration along the way):
Time to toss the freshest, healthiest looking bait out into the water. You want something that is attractive, catches the fish's eye, and will give you the longest soak time possible. The fish sees the bait, loves what it sees, agrees to engage, and BAM!!! You have now set the hook!
Time to let the fish know who's on the other end of the reel. Teach that prized catch that you've got it on your hook and JUST DON'T LET GO! You're going to have to work hard for it; this fish isn't too happy that it's on receiving end of the ride of its life
After a hard fight and some resistance, you can't wait to bring this fish in and hold it up as a memorable trophy of all the hard work that you have put into this journey. At this point, the fish is doing the majority of the work and you are simply bringing it all home!
Ahhhhhhh. Time to relax and prove that you have just pulled in the biggest catch imaginable. This is the time to prove your prowess as a professional, demonstrating mastery of the ocean and catapulting you into the "Wall of Fame" status.