Let’s pretend you’re my principal. If you’re any good at your job you oughtta raise an eyebrow at all this.
Then there’s this sort, featuring some kid nearabouts their age who goes waaaaaayyy off the reservation, takes a twenty-hour break from Bioshock, and drags everyone he knows and everyone watching him to the hottest street corner in town: the intersection of creativity and hard work.
These videos, in their own small way, push the ceiling higher on what my kids think is possible at their age. That’s my heart for this job.
So, look, yeah, the pure academic value here is practically nil but I’ll make the following case that these videos result in a net gain in instructional minutes.
The simplistic response is that they re-energize kids and I’m getting good at re-directing that energy into our next instructional activity. (Mostly by avoiding clunker transitions like, “Okay, now I’d like to get back to some math.”)
The more complicated response is that by dedicating math time to something that is distinctly disconnected from math, I pour an individual glass of empathy for each of my kids.
A lot of these kids don’t enjoy math but my attendance and classroom management remain stronger than I deserve because they know that twice a day â€” if they’re working hard straight through the period â€” they’re gonna see something intriguing that has nothing to do with math. Doesn’t matter if it’s academic material from another class (e.g. “Name That Flag!”). It’s the different-ness that matters most.
I can’t buy that kind of positive PR.
I can’t explain it to an administrator either.