teachin' school

teaching tip 52. find the balance between humor and honesty.

teachers be like

when i first saw this picture on pinterest, i’m pretty sure i laughed out loud.  ain’t that the truth!

one thing i learned early on with teaching is that you have to face the students head on…and usually with some sass and sarcasm.  for some reason, they respond to it.  it lightens the mood and still gets my point across.  you have to watch out though.  some students don’t understand sarcasm or they don’t have that type of humor.  if humor doesn’t work, i’ll pull out my next tool – straight up honesty.  you’d be surprised by how teenagers appreciate honesty.  sometimes they might not like what you have to say, but they will accept it because it’s the cold, hard truth.

it’s all about finding the balance and your own teaching style.  that may take some time.  i was too serious for the first two years.  and then the pendulum swung too far to the other side.  i had to pull in the reigns.  i am just now in my 8th year finding that right balance for myself.

so i’ve been collecting these little conversations with my students from this year.  they make me crack up sometimes.  🙂

1.  can you please stop making it rain with the field trip money? we need those ones. put the paperclip back on them.

2.  did you seriously just wipe your nose on that kid’s shirt? are you in kindergarten? (to a 12th grader)

3.  no, i will not play any Nicki Minaj on my iPad. that’s totes inapprope for school.

4.  student: wait, what are we doing?
me: i already went over the directions.  twice.
student: i wasn’t in here.
me: yes, you were!
student: my body was here.  but my mind wasn’t yet.  it’s here now.  what are we doing?
(i just stared at him until he figured it out.)

5.  me: so you wouldn’t giggle [at the Renaissance art], I put black bars over the peepees and boobies. (they still giggled.)

6.  me: cut back on the red bull.  seriously.  your heart is going to explode.

7.  me: you’ve stolen every pencil I’ve given you.
student: but they’re free from you.
me: well, the only free thing you’re getting from me now is a free air guitar from the corner over there.
the student proceeded to then go and actually play the air guitar.
i let him borrow a pencil.  and he stole it, of course.

8.  student: saturday school reminds me of “the breakfast club”.
me: this is SO not “the breakfast club”. get back to work.

9.  me: that’s not true.
student: it is. i read it on wikipedia.
me: then it’s definitely not true. you know you can’t trust wikipedia.  people can go and change things whenever they want.
student: i know i can trust it because i changed it on the website a couple of hours ago.
(i laughed because it was funny, but what a smartass.)

10.  me: you are saved by the bell, zak. (and i cracked myself up with my 90s reference. he didn’t get it, poor millennial.)

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7 thoughts on “teaching tip 52. find the balance between humor and honesty.

  1. This was great!!!
    I found I had to take the same approach working with college students as well.
    These conversations with your students was hilarious. I especially like the on who played the air guitar and still stole the pencil… and the one who changed wikipedia so he would be right. classic.

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