Teaching is always a (fun) challenge. One of my favorite aspects of teaching is explaining the why behind something, what the pattern underneath is. For instance, I absolutely love to teach grammar. Some things though, don’t have a reasonable explanation.
A few months ago, we had a geography assignment that involved coloring each state of the Union a color prescribed in a key. I was standing over one child as she reached Arkansas. She’d never been, so I pronounced it for her. “Are-kin-saw.” A while later she came to Kansas. “Kin-saw?” Well, no. But that would make perfect sense, wouldn’t it?
Every one of the students struggled when it came to Michigan. The UP is obviously connected to Wisconsin, so they all wanted to color it Wisconsin’s color.
“Actually this is part of Michigan.”
“But this is Michigan, over here.”
“Yes, it is. But so is this.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Well, no one really understands the Upper Peninsula, dear. But you should color it red.”
I comfort myself by thinking that all this nonsense is teaching them a pattern they will experience for the rest of their lives: some things don’t make sense, but you have to just work with them the way they are.