Killing Bunnies

Somewhere, some twenty-year-old kid is getting whacked across the face with a baseball bat every hour on the hour. I don’t know how else to explain the serious karmic imbalance of the last couple of days.

I had a post-conference with the principal today to discuss the lesson he watched a week ago. To quote the written review would be extremely tacky, especially in an entry that’s pretty self-congratulatory already. It was positive. And, from the student side, the number of kids who’ll outright tell me I’m their favorite teacher has never been higher. My instincts tell me one of them’s wearing a wire.

And the bonus is that it’s been fun. I’ve been putting miscellaneous trivia on the openers since my first year. (Today’s question: “What is the most popular boat name in America?”) That’s nothing new. But this projector + laptop combo … I’m able to do so much more stuff to keep the kids tuned up.

I’ve got the “Five for the Week” feature where five kids recommend a music single apiece that I listen to and critique by the end of the week. The more I tell ’em their songs are overwrought emo-driven junk rock, the more kids that toss their hands up the next week.

I’ve got the “Fake or Legit” feature, which is new, where I put a photo up off of and ask them to vote whether it’s fake or … well, you get it. It freaks them out.

In Geometry the kids are always asking if they have to draw the problem. They always have to draw the problem and they know that but they still ask. I told them that one of these days I was going to bring in a cage full of bunnies, and that the next time any of them asked if they had to draw the problem, I wouldn’t say anything. I’d just walk over to the cage, pull out a bunny, and kill it. (What is that, psychologically speaking? A negative reinforcer?)

The last few days when they’ve asked, I mime the whole thing out. I walk over to an invisible cage, pull out an invisible rabbit, stroke its invisible ears a couple of times, and then crush it against the wall.

So the difference between teaching and performing is kind of evaporating. It’s fun for me. Kids are responding. My superiors are happy with my work. My day job, at the moment, is a very satisfying place to be.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.

1 Comment

  1. That bunny thing is funny and very cool. It’s good to display an edgy sense of humour in class and get away with it. It sucks when you don’t get away with it, though.

    Occasionally, a car drives slowly along the street below with doof-doof music blaring out the window. One day I said to my class: next time that happens I’m getting out my sniper. Next time it did happen, they egged me on and I mimed it out. We all had a good laugh and fortunately it didn’t come up at parent-teacher night.

    I adore my projector and laptop combo too, but tend to stick to maths and related stuff with it. Not because I disapprove of anything else; just haven’t thought of other activities like you have. Thanks for giving me some ideas, though…