I did exactly what the manual said, in the order that it said to do it.
However, one day, I was compelled to ask ... "Does anyone know a different way to do this math problem?"
In the book, they had given me 3 ways to teach this particular method, and I had taught all 3 methods precisely as I was told. I had no reason to ask this question at this time.
But I just took a chance.
And Elliot raised his hand.
Everyone has had an Elliot in their room at one point or another. He's the type of student that gets that look in his eye, and you just wonder what he's thinking and how he's getting to the answer... a totally different way than anyone could imagine... including myself.
Well, I decided to call on Elliot, even though the "book" told me I had already taught all of the ways I was supposed to.
And Elliot went on this winding path of an explanation, and I even thought of picking up my calculator to double check... but I followed along (as the other children were in the wake of mathematics that was being displayed in front of them.)
He put on a display that put a smile even on his face.
That's why I try to ALWAYS ask (even if my book doesn't say to)... "Does anyone know a different way?"
All because of Elliot.