The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) began celebrating World Teachers' Day in 1994 to commend the individuals who commit their lives to the teaching profession and raise awareness for their contributions in the field. Most dedicated teachers problematize how to cater to the different learning strategies of students, especially at a time when human attention span is becoming shorter as a side effect of reliance to technology; however, here's a reason to celebrate World Teacher's Day: teachers like Debby Heerkens.
Debby Heerkens is a gym and Biology teacher at Groene Hart Rijnwoude School in Hazerswoude Dorp, Netherlands, and she knows that her subject is not always easy to grasp. That's why she decided to forego the usual lecture and make the lesson on human anatomy more visual by wearing layers of full spandex suit with accurate designs of internal organs and the muscular and skeletal system. Her plan was approved by the school director, of course.
"At first they were a little bit in shock because they thought 'the teacher is taking off her clothes,' until, they saw what was underneath," Heerkens said in an interview. It seems the class enjoyed their lesson and learned what they needed too.
Heerkens definitely knows the difficulties faced in the subject she teaches and, being in the teaching profession for seven years, she understands that keeping the students engaged in the lesson requires her to be creative with her approaches as well. That said, Heerkens also knows that her newest approach to teaching the human anatomy is not one that can be used regularly. Her next group of students for the same lesson can only guess what their teacher will be up to next and Heerkens can only hope that whatever she'll cook up next will keep the students' attention on her.
According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute (SBRI), the average human attention span in 2015 is at 8.25 seconds, which means that the quip "you have the attention span of a goldfish" is no longer valid since goldfish have a nine-second attention span. That is correct: humans lose to goldfish.