While attending an afternoon session of the Virtual Schools Symposium, a presenter (David McGeary) showed this EDS video that aired several years ago. Every time I view this commercial, I think of my first teaching job. Let me explain, and then let me know if you can relate.
I began my educational career as a science teacher at an inner city middle school in Phoenix. We had a partnership with the local science center to use their computer lab once a week. The science center was about two blocks away from the school. So each week, I would prepare my group of 8th graders for the walk to the computer lab. This process included statements like:
- STAY TOGETHER
- Cross the street on the light
- Be nice to the homeless people
- Don’t climb on the bus stop benches
- Stay off the grass when we walk through Heritage Park
- Don’t pick the flowers in front of the historical buildings (to give to the English teacher)
- EVERYONE MUST STAY IN FRONT OF ME
See the problem? Being a newbie, I had not yet learned an important mathematical principal of middle school student perceptions. It is a fact that a middle school student’s “level of coolness” is inversely proportional to the speed at which they walk. Before we made it off school property I was shooing the girl’s forward, yelling for the boy’s to get back with the group, and trying to corral the wanderers. Herding cats. Good times.