Guest Blogger: I’ve Never Been So Miserable.

[This week’s guest blogger is Dan Meyer, a 21-yo student teacher from Sacramento who won’t realize how good he had it until several years later.]

Every day I come to student-teach at Florin High School with something to write. Be it a movie review, a letter, or a movie script, I always have something to speed up the interminable – my two hours of observation. I finished three reviews (of admittedly variable quality) in only five days. Boredom makes me strong, gives me a reason to write, makes me prolific. But today I’ve got nothing so I’ve resorted to writing about having nothing.

Two Periods Later

Strangely, for the first time since I’ve been here, it wasn’t an issue. First period trig was doing group work and help was needed all around. I got on my knees besides Arielle’s desk and fell like a rock back into my old rhythms. It felt great to be doing something … finally.

See … and maybe I should just post the whole thing so I don’t forget … but we’ve been talking in EDU 275 about classroom management – how we get the little blighters to fall in line and learn. My theory, which has got me branded as a maverick by my cohort, is that if I can make these kids believe that I’m cool, they’ll follow me to the end of the Earth. Today my stock rose several points with that class, which won’t hurt come winter semester when I take over.

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. Good luck with the cool theory. I tried it and failed. Maybe ‘cuz I’m not cool enough, but the jury’s still out on that one. My theory revolves round mutual respect. Especially at the adolescent years, kids need to know you respect them or they’ll follow you nowhere.

    -mr. higuera

  2. The “Cool Theory”! That was so 90’s. Now you have to be above even super cool. You’ve got to be so cool, you spell cool with a ‘K’. It is now called the “Kool Theory”. Sorta like Gym is now “Physical Education”, the Library is now the “media center”, Foreign Languages are “World Languages”, etc.

    Good luck in job interviews with talking about “being cool” when they ask you about classroom management.

    Come to think of it, when I was in the high school, the “cool” teachers were kind of creepy. I mean, they were adults chuming it up with high school kids. I didn’t want them to be my friend, just teach me from 8-3 ( or 5- Noon for my Pacific Time Zone friends), and then we can both go home to our real lives.

    I don’t know totally what my students think of me (I’m a Guidance Counselor, not a teacher). I don’t know who’s popular in music and stuff like that. However, I know the students know that if they need help with SAT registration, a college application letter of reccomendation, a working permit form, want to vent about a teacher and other stuff like that I am good for it.

    My wife, my 3 year old daughter and my 11 month old son think I’m cool, that’s all that matters.

  3. My students respect my personality and I respect theirs. I rib on them and look like they’ve stabbed me in the heart when they don’t have their homework. In turn, they tell me how old I am when I mention the Beastie Boys “Intergalactic” when trying to sell them on wearing lab goggles.

    I discovered that the best thing is not being cool, but asking them to teach you how to be “with it”. If you mean it, it shows them the kind of respect that you want them to give you … and they do (although sometimes with ‘kids these days’ you don’t recognize it as the respect you are used to seeing).

  4. yo me and my peeps be mad crunk and ‘oh, snap!’ dawg, cause this class be poppin’ when teach bust out slang flashcards and be gettin’ his boom game on wit da ladies.

    now that’z what i call teachin…yo.

    And then I feel alone; horribly alone.