MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One science teacher in Minneapolis believes song and dance makes learning a difficult subject a lot easier.
Ms. Diane Weiher’s dances at Lake Harriet Upper are the talk of the school. She is getting students excited about science, and that’s what makes her this week’s Excellent Educator.
After nearly three decades in the classroom, Weiher is a master of making kids smile.
“I love my middle schoolers. They’re fun and funny and cute, and they give me a lot of energy,” she said.
She has helpers in her science class, such as a snake and two geckos. But the energy in her classroom is carefully choreographed.
Weiher has different dances prepared, depending on what’s being talked about in class — from learning how retinas work to the functioning of the heart.
“We’ll be talking about blood paths to the heart, so blood goes upstairs, downstairs, off to the lungs, upstairs, downstairs off to the body,” she said, demonstrating the dance moves.
Weiher comes up with the dances all on her own, and she just hopes the routines stick with her students.
“It’s kinesthetic, it’s silly, it helps them remember,” she said.
Student Theo Doran said the dances are so funny that you remember them right away.
“I hated science before now,” Doran said.
Now he finds it fun.
“They might not grow up to be a scientist, but if they love science, that’s fabulous,” Weiher said.
Not only do they now love the subject, but the one teaching it, too.
“I think she is very deserving of this award, she’s a great teacher, she is one of the best I’ve ever had,” Doran said.
Teaching was the last thing Weiher thought she wanted to do as a career in college. It was her dad who suggested it after seeing how much she loved working with kids as a lifeguard.
So her senior year of college she switched to education and says it was the best decision she has made.