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Last week I saw Team 21C (quick disclosure: my wife is part of the team) having so much fun with memes that I was inspired to give them a shot throughout the year. Being a teacher that is often willing to engage in some humor, often self-deprecating, I saw this as an opportunity to relate concepts in a concise, catchy manner. So I did what anyone would do, I put one on my syllabus. The image of a furious Leonidas screaming about which class we were in greeted my students when we finally got around to discussing class policies on day 3. Was it silly? You bet, but the message it conveyed is that this does not have to necessarily be a do or die environment. Ultimately, students will learn more if they look forward to being in class. By reaching out and making cross-generational connections, I feel less like the old guy running the class through strict top-down measures and more like a knowledgeable guide pushing them forward through the jungle of discovery.
Now, granted, this is not necessarily the most educational of uses, but this is a process. I don’t expect my students to be perfect overnight, why should I be? To me, watching Wes, Bryan, and Jessica lay it all out there, warts and all, on this blog has provided stunning insight into the creative process. Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down in the day to day process of education that it’s difficult at times to look up and see what’s going on beyond our rooms, our departments, or our sites.
I will leave you with this: in one of my duties as a football coach at McFadden, I needed to make something eye-catching and memorable to get the students interested in playing to come out ready to practice on Tuesday. Where did I look for inspiration? You guessed it. There are now 10 recruiting memes spread throughout the school getting at least a chuckle or two as people walk by and hopefully reminding one or two that practice starts next week.
Feel free to follow the journey online.