I'm a child of the 80's and as such a huge fan of Back to the Future, I have often wondered would Marty have done any of the things he did knowing the crazy journey that awaited him. Much like Marty, last year I decided my students needed inquiry in their journey to Physical Literacy. If only everything was mapped out and handed to us it would all be so easy! Becoming an inquiry based teacher is not at all that way. Early on in the process of trying to better grasp how to teach with inquiry, I found more questions then answers. I wished for a map, a pre-created path I could simply follow and try to master. What I discovered was it isn't that simple. There is no path, there is no how to guide. Until you try to teach this way you cannot understand this fact.
Inquiry based teaching is a choose your own adventure; you must be prepared for many different paths and outcomes to emerge. The hardest part is you do not choose what the character does, you're simply along for the ride. Much like Marty watching the consequences of his actions in the past, you have to watch the direction your lesson goes and how the Essential question steers your students. Each class will go a different way and the job of the teacher becomes keeping the lesson from going the wrong way or no where at all. As a teacher you have to be ready to solve a problem on the fly and adjust to the new direction of your lesson
Keeping your focus on the essential question keeps the lesson on track. Much like Marty, trying to prevent his family from the future from completely disappearing, you have to try to pull back your students from the edge of frustration and from a path far from where you are trying to help students get. So don't wait to grab the guitar and start rocking out for the sake of your students. You will miss some notes and overshoot with your metal skills but in the end you will come home with everything back to normal and possibly a little better then when you started the journey. Lastly find your Doc to help you along the way, mine came in the form of a few others; Naomi Hartl, Mel Hamada, Mark Williams, David Moore, and Andy Hair.
Seth Martin has taught for over 10 years all in the Elementary PE setting. He has presented across CA and online for the Physedsummit 3.0. Passionate about doing what best for students and helping them become physically literate and love movement!