I started something in GoogleDocs and didn’t stop for five minutes. Put down your thoughts. Group thoughts into sentences, sentences into paragraphs. Schedule paragraphs so they don’t stray too far from the through-line.
For example, I wanted to discuss the cliché of good teachers assigning gross, indecipherable handouts to students and then expecting neat, decipherable work. That one’s several degrees off the trail, though, so I made sure to refresh our through-line immediately before and after it. It’s a dance. Leaving, returning. Expanding, retracting. You’re flirting with the through-line the whole way through.
This whole step would go without saying except so often it’s our tendency to build our presentations from the
PowerPoint Keynote slides up. But Keynote has an immoral tendency to linearize complicated arguments, to break good thought into retarded bullet points. Keynote is still a couple days out.
Here is my brain dump, everything that struck me as interesting or worth sharing, listed in bullet points that do not proceed orderly from one to the next:
- Bring in Wire clips / Bueller Bueller / Chalk?
- Start from small to big.
- comic sans
- list 5 pejoratives
- seek out cliche and destroy it
- fake or legit
- we’re not talking about canceling class or throwing a party
- comic sans
- worksheets poorly designed
- teachers boring, obsessed w/ problem sets
- interested only in math
- assessments are a thing to dread
- cliché case files
- totally incomprehensible test (what is your score? what should my reaction be here? 2 triangle 2 triangle is an operation 5Q fast test)
- this is difficult
- branding — what they think of after lunch when they think of your class
- first impressions
- smile at door
- syllabus at the start of the year
- sometimes, no matter what you do, your brand sucks. attendance sux. but you’re doing great things for when they come around. math in future years.
- This girl has hated math for years. It isn’t your fault but you must do something about it.
Then I threw my through-line at the list, reshuffled some items, and reworded others so that I never strayed more than a couple steps off the path the whole way through. Audiences don’t enjoy confusion, I’ve concluded. Feel free to write that down.