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Great Moments in Teaching

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Over spring break, in a moment of inspiration, middle school teacher Cindi Rigsbee had a revelation that many of her students might be getting bored in her class and that she needed to open up and engage them on the subject. The resulting classroom conversation, on the first day back, is an instant teacher-blog classic:

I opened my mouth to talk about my boredom epiphany when Christian said (across the room to Matthew), "Did you see Wrestlemania? Man, that dude was BIG!"
"Christian. Matthew," I said. "I want to tell you about my idea. We're going to talk about why kids are bored at school and..."
Nicole piped in. "This is boring."
"Nicole," I said. "How can we work around being bored so that we can get our educations and get good jobs in our future?"
"I want to work at Hooters," she answered.
Then Breana jumped in. "Over Spring Break, I went skating, and my brother's friend was there. His name is Damon but we call him 'Cookies.'"

OK, then. So much for that idea. ...

4 Comments

That reminds me of the time I taught what I thought was a great, inspiring lesson, and one of my students eagerly rasied his hand. When I called on him, he asked, "Can I go to the bathroom?"

Cindi, thanks so much for a great chuckle!! As I contemplate my widely broadcast intention to return to the classroom next year after six years out as an instructional coach, you have quickly reminded me of why I keep saying, "I need to get my passion back!" Thanks again.

This reminds me of a story a good friend told me. During one of his chemistry lectures he noted that a student who rarely paid attention was seemingly hanging on to every word he said. "Yes!" he thought, "I'm finally reaching him with this lesson."

At the end of the period, the student came up and said, "Mr. Smith, is that a new tie you're wearing today?"

I remember the time when we were having an algebra discussion and a girl on the back row commented "Did I tell you that my mom had a vasectomy over the weekend and she is getting out of the hospital today?" Need I say more . . . never a dull moment.

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