Thursday, September 17, 2015

Teaching Tip #8

Let your freak flag fly.


That’s right.  Let the students see your weird, goofy, obsessive side.


Because it shows them that you’re one of them.  You’re human.  You have passions and interests and a uniqueness.  Just like they do.

I never really thought of this.  But it’s what I do.

Spend five minutes in my room and you’ll see my freak flags abound.

But I didn’t do it consciously, and I never thought about it until one day I was sending a text to a student, Naomi, who had missed class.

I texted her that class just wasn’t the same without her and that we missed her leadership and contributions.

She texted me later thanking me for my contributions and leadership.  She said she loved the class and was having a great time.  Then she added a line that blew me away: “Plus, you’re weird.  That helps.”

The light went on for me.

Let your weirdness show.

If you love cooking, let your students know.  Who knows?  They may bring in recipes for you.

If you love Seinfeld, quote from it all the time.  Who knows?  You might be inundated with Kramer memes via Facebook and Instagram.

Have a passion for sharks - as I do - and who knows?  You might get inundated with tweets when Sharkweek is on or get videos of some surfer crossing paths with a Great white that a student saw on the news.

Win them over by letting your inner freak or geek out.

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