The Sort-of-Scientific Method

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Nov 22 2012

Call Me Grateful

Day 53: When my kids are all doing the right thing in class, they earn a point. For example, if everyone is silently working, they get a point. If everyone is tracking the speaker, they get a point. When the kids get enough points in a certain amount of time – say, 200 points in four weeks – they earn a reward. For example, the first reward of the year was the Mentos and Diet Coke explosion.

All of this is relevant because it partially explains why yesterday, I climbed on stage to sing Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” in front of the entire school body. The rest is explained by my well-documented immunity to embarrassment and general lack of shame.

I had told about five kids that I would give them a signal by scratching my head before the final verse, meaning that was the time to run up toward the stage and get everyone to sing along. Unfortunately, I accidentally gave the signal after the first chorus. This meant the majority of the song was sung with everyone crowded up to the stage, arms reaching out toward me, belting out the song. I’m guessing, the closest I will ever get to feeling like a rock star. At one point, seeing as I had no security detail, I had to sweep a fifth grader off the stage myself. I eventually left the stage with a bow, and proceeded to receive approximately 200 high fives.

All of this is wonderful context for what I am grateful for this year. I am grateful for a job where I can have fun and be my goofy self every day. I am grateful for kids who laugh along with me. I am grateful that I have set up the structure in my classroom that allows kids to laugh and have fun with me, and then be back to work learning science moments later. I am grateful that all of my hard work this past summer and this fall has translated to students learning more, engaged more, and generally happier. Above all, I am grateful that I have a job that I love, and that makes people’s lives better.

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S.: Video evidence that I am not lying about the Call Me Maybe performance can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiv936T7wkU&feature=plcp

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Experimental Procedures of a Second-Year Teacher


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