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Education, Humor, Teaching

Herding Cats: A Teaching Analogy

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.

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About azjd

Junior high principal by day, aspiring difference maker, and Jedi in my own mind. Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.

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Jeff Delp

Junior high principal by day, sports enthusiast, technology fanatic and jedi in my own mind. Striving to be a difference maker!
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