Recently, a colleague of mine said he had checked out my blog. He liked some of the posts but felt that lately I've been too esoteric. So, I thought to myself, does he know what esoteric means? Take that!
So today's post is going to be completely esoteric and focused on things that maybe none of you care about or have experienced--but if you've taught long enough, as the teacher from Ecclessiastes says, "there is nothing new under the sun."
I am teaching a book called Painting the Black. It is not a book I've chosen, but rather was chosen for me. It is not a bad book, but the average student, to whom we teach this book for, has trouble understanding the sports language and metaphors. So, today, as an anticipatory set, I chose to bring in the X-Box and play MVP Baseball 2005.
I demonstrated for them what a curveball and slider are. I even let them take turns playing one another if they chose. Anything to get them in the baseball mode as we read a book about a star high school baseball player.
Here's the interesting thing. My fourth period class was quite engaged. Encouraging each other on, rooting for one team over the other. The girls wanted to play, and the boys wanted to play, even those who are otherwise uniterested in sports wanted to play.
Then came sixth period. They couldn't have cared less about what we were doing. In fact, one kid even told me this was the dumbest thing ever. "Even dumber than listening to me lecture," I asked. "Pretty much," he replied.
It fascinated me, these two very different classes. It made me wonder about this one size fits all education thing we have going, what with NCLB and standardized tests.