Friday, May 28, 2010

It's a Thriller...or not

You know what it is like at work when you get ready for vacation? Making sure everything is taken care of before you leave; cleaning off your desk even more then you do for the weekend. Teachers do the same thing before summer break. (I prefer to call it a break.) Only teachers make sure their valuables are locked up or packed up and taken home. But the excitement is still there. It's also a time for me to look back at the year I just had.

All in all, this was a good year teaching wise. In one sense it was unusual. Can't put my finger on it exactly, but I'm not the only teacher that feels that way. I had challenges, both in the concepts I taught and the classroom management.

Teachers do strange things to keep their students' attention. At least, I think I do. I have acted like an old southern Baptist preacher--"preaching" my lesson. (Example: "Now let me tell ya, brothers and sisters!") I've taught my students songs to help them remember: (to the tune of the William Tell Overture--scroll to 2:09) "Take the change, take the change, take the change in y..." (Oh, that's the beginning of the definition of slope.) I acted like Erkel (from Family Matters), pulling up my pants: "I'm going to wear you down!!"

This year, I did a very small part of Michael Jackson's "Thriller". That led one student to tell me if I would do the dance, he'd pay attention and try. OK! I'll do the "Thriller" on the last full day of school. I figured that would give me time to learn the dance (and make a fool of myself) and possibly allow time for the student to forget! Well, he told his then girlfriend who was in another period and she made me pinky swear. Later, he was sent to the alternative school (out of school suspension) for the rest of the year and she told me she would be going on homebound for the rest of the year. Yes! I'm off the hook.

But, then, she didn't go on homebound and kept reminding me. Ok, ok. I will do it on the last full day of school (which, by the way, was yesterday, Thursday). And he returned this last week of school. Oh, my. I better learn the dance. So I went to YouTube and found a video that taught you how to do the dance and seemed easy to learn. (No, it wasn't exactly like the real one, but it was close enough.) On Wednesday evening (because I actually forgot until then), I learned the dance.

Thursday morning, my iPod in hand (downloaded the video to help), I watched one last time. First period...7:45. He's not here. No one mentioned "Thriller." One down, one to go.

Fifth period...12:10...she's not here. No one mentioned "Thriller." Whew! I didn't have to do it...but then again the motivation just wasn't strong enough because neither showed up to class. (I saw him second period...he was tardy to school.)

I learned something new. I like that.

Now, to review my schedule to see what is in store for me the next eight weeks: a math workshop, a symposium, two technology workshops, and 2 conferences. Yep, I like to learn!


  1. And that would be one way we're different: I like to run away from learning during the summer!
    Wish you had done the Thriller...maybe for sister's weekend! :D (ha, ha, ha!) ♥

  2. I think you need to post your own Thriller video here...that's what blogs are for : )