Life can be pretty serious sometimes. So, how do educators keep it real while teaching? The key: stay authentic and keep your sense of humor, even when embarrassing or unplanned events arise. Here are 10 irl ways teachers found a way to channel the comedy of life in the classroom and in doing so, created memorable teaching moments for their students.
1. "Teaching can be serious, so I try to keep it light when I can. So when a laptop freezes, I like to sing Madonna’s 'Frozen.' Technically, I'm not embarrassed."
2. "I GROUP MY STUDENTS INTO HOGWARTS HOUSES. I think my students like it. I do."
3. "A kid in my class once said at the end of the day, 'My medicine wore out.' I looked them in the eye and said, 'Me too, kid.'"
4. Student: Look at what someone wrote on my desk!
Me: *Looks down and reads, “Your zipper is down.”*
(My zipper is--unfortunately, down).
5. "I started an anime club. Because being our unique selves helps us connect with our students."
6. "I had a unit in which I taught my students the difference between summary and analysis. I printed out an old essay by a former student (name redacted, of course), and had students mark which sentences in the paper were summary and which sentences were analysis in small groups. I directed them to mark summary as “S” and analysis as “A.” With A's and S's written all over the paper, you can imagine the laughter that ensued. Bottom line: they learned the difference between analysis and summary."
7. "Sometimes, my students feel down. As a teacher, you can tell when students are discouraged. That’s when I sing Frozen's 'Let it Go.'"
8. "Students sometimes don’t put their names on assignments. So one day, I sang 'If you wrote it you shoulda put your name on it!' a la Beyoncé. I told them I’d sing it every time someone didn’t put their name on an assignment. Guess what: they got real diligent real fast."
9. "I teach gardening for middle schoolers. I decided to begin the class with going over the tools of a garden. So of course, I begin with, 'Does anyone know what a hoe is used for?' I didn’t realize what I’d said until I saw the look on students' faces. UGH."
10. "In our fundamentals class, our talented top-level chef promised to take care of our 20-gallon pot of chicken stock and forgot. It was on high overnight. We walked in the next morning to him trying to clean it out and throw it away and it was hilarious. Honestly, it made me realize that we ALL make mistakes and it’s ok to screw up once in a while (if nobody gets hurt and the fire department isn't involved!)"
We hope this gave you a good chuckle. Bottom line: be your authentic self. Part of connecting with students is showing the human side of ourselves.
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