How to Reach the 21st Century Student

This post was quest-written by Darlin’, a not-at-all-disgruntled-teacher, from keyandarrow.com

teachersomeecard

On the same degree to which my preteen students often leave me perplexed, they almost simultaneously make it all worth while, and I must take time to ponder the ways to reach these complex creatures.  What I have discovered thus far: 

Step 1:  It’s All in the Name.  Introduce yourself as Ms. or Mr. (Insert last name first initial here).  Anything longer than that will take too long to enter into their smart devices.  Plus, it’s more difficult for them to turn your last name into an insult; i.e., Ms. Wright is Ms. Wrong, Mr. Johnson’s Johnson, and Mrs. Brown makes me frown.  See?  Easy.

Step 2:  It’s All in the Presentation.  Begin class with a video.  Make sure they know how long the video is.  This is the only thing that matters.

Step 3:  What are We Doing?  It doesn’t matter if it’s written all over the whiteboard and your forehead, you must answer this question as soon as possible, or the 21st Century student will seem to mimic spontaneous combustion or what might be commonly mistaken as a seizure.

Step 4: No, We Are NOT Having a Free-Day.  But you are free to do whatever I ask you to do.  Completely free.

Step 5:  Yes, We Are Going to Have Fun Today.  Everything we do is fun.  You must get them to understand this.  Assess them quarterly over their mastery of this topic.

Step 6: Avoid Four-Letter Words. Like T-E-S-T, for example.  Instead, use words like “assessment” or “tell-me-how-much-smart-you-are-assignment.”  You must also announce the test tell-me-how-smart-you-are-assignment every five to ten minutes, perhaps with the aid of an old-fashioned megaphone, so they don’t accuse you of not telling them about it.  If not, the risk you are willing to take must outweigh speaking into a giant cone.

Step 7:  No, Your Parent Did NOT Forget Your Homework.

Step 8: If All Else Fails, Tap Dance??

Step 9: Tangents.  They are way too skilled at this for their own good.  You must develop a thick skin, even if they ask you to describe the careful process you took to ensure the pie you baked last night for your book club in which nobody there seemed interested in how many hours you worked to get the crust just right and the tartness just tart enough but not too tart because all they cared about was “was there enough wine?”  No, not even that.

Step 10: If at All Possible, Allow Smart Devices.  It doesn’t matter how boring the assignment, it just got ten times better because you allowed them to peck at tiny keys.

Step 11. Birthday Parties Are More Important Than Your Homework Assignment.  Don’t be hard on them for this; your students may not include “priorities” in their vocabulary.   However, don’t bother them by asking them to look it up in the dictionary; “dictionary” is not in their vocabulary.  According to them, dictionaries date back to the Cretaceous period.  Instead, repeat the following helpful phrase, “GOOGLE the word, “p-r-i-o-r-i-t-y.”

Step 12:  I Lost it Sometimes Means I Don’t Plan on Looking For It.  Make friends with the copying machine.  Though, I’m warning you, she’s a beast.

Step 13:  One Direction is Your Favorite Band, Too.  Don’t know who they are?  Just say it.  You’ll thank me later.

Warning: Listen at your own risk.

Step 14:  Relate Everything to Pop Culture.  Peruse the following examples for guidance:

Language Arts Lesson: Avoid fragments in your writing, or you’ll appear as though missing an essential like that Miley Cyrus.  Math Lesson: One was recently divorced, and one recently had a child.  How many Kardashians do you have?

Step 15: Don’t Underestimate Them.  They might just create your next frustrating iPhone update.

In Jest,

Ms. W.

Advertisements

How To Take The Joy Out of Education

Heather of Becoming Cliche joins The Official How To Blog today to tackle the issue of super-duper education policy that has thankfully turned our public school students into bubbling machines. You’ve got a circle that needs to be colored in? By all means, grab your nearest eight-year-old cuz that kid knows what’s up. Incidentally that same child might not know what’s up in the sky because science is optional.

_________________________________________________________________________________

1) Determine the best way to measure success.  This means test scores. Duh! There’s no such thing as potential that can’t be measured. If it ain’t on the score sheet, it ain’t there, folks. 

2) Use test scores appropriately. Preferably to pigeonhole kids so we know where to focus our attention. No sense pouring money down a sinkhole, after all. Bad score? No Honors English for you next year. What? You didn’t take  Honors English this year? Sorry, no Honors English II next year.  That’s too bad. You should have studied harder when you were ten. Catch the bad eggs in fifth grade so they never taint an AP English class in high school.

3) Alert students and teachers to upcoming tests. At least three months in advance by means of signage in hallways, weekly notes to parents, automated phone calls during the dinner hour,  and when applicable, a morning cheer.

4) Schedule mandated testing strategically. Cold and flu season is preferable. It’s the only way to separate the sheep from the goats. Inability to test well when faced with raging fever and barking cough represents regression toward the mean and helps identify your weak links on whom you should not waste time or resources.

5) Cut the fat in the budget. Preferably the gifted programs. Those kids already know enough to be going on with. We don’t want them to get too big for their britches now, do we?

6) Establish a curriculum. And deviate from it never. It goes without saying that said curriculum must be Ministry of Magic approved. We don’t want teachers stepping outside the box and teaching students things that won’t be found on the tests and are therefore useless.  Learning just for the fun of it is pointless. And maybe dangerous. Look at what happened with Hogwarts. Students used their time inappropriately and ended up blowing up the school. Amirite?

7) Respond to current events. Knee-jerk reactions are preferable. Because adding armed officers at every school means a crazed person with a gun and determination will not succeed, but a second grader with a Poptart is sure to.

_________________________________________________________________________________

You can write for The Official How To Blog too. Yes, I’m talking to you…not that other guy…you. Visit the about page to learn how.

The Official How To Blog is the one-true source for all information and poptart protection.