Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Gift of Anticipation: Maintaining Sanity and Creating Levity In My Classroom

One of the essential qualities of good teaching is the gift of anticipation.  After working with a group of students for a period of time, a good teacher should be reasonably able to anticipate a student's educational needs, behavior choices, and their endless supply of off-topic inane questions.  This ability not only helps us create more effective lesson plans but also allows us to keep some semblance of sanity while maybe having a little fun in the process.
When I returned to my classroom from winter break, I quickly made a list of questions I figured the students would have and posted them along with my answers on the SmartBoard as part of the warm-up.  The idea occurred to me when, during homeroom, many students questioned me about the missing poster on the wall behind my desk.  It had fallen down over the break, and I hadn't gotten around to putting it back up.  The barrage of questions inspired me to create the following list as a way to humorously circumvent any questions.  My responses are in red:
1. What happened to your big poster, Mr. Givens? I'm worried about it because I like to focus on things that are of no concern to me.
For the last time, the poster fell down over winter break, and I haven't had a chance to put it back up yet. Geez!
2. Did you have a nice break, Mr. Givens?
3. Do you want to know how my break went, Mr. Givens?
Not particularly.
4. Why is it so cold in here?
It's January. You do the math.
5. But, Mr. Givens, I thought we were going to be working on our Hero Definition essays this week! What's going on? I am so scared and confused!
You will be working on your Hero essays this week. Patience. All will be explained shortly. Well...maybe. There are no guarantees in life.

By now, of course, my students are completely used to my sense of humor.  Or, perhaps, desensitized is the more accurate description.  Some laughed, but most shook their heads as though they were witnessing just another wacky moment in the sitcom that is my classroom.  
However, the questions did stop.  And some wondered aloud how I knew they were going to ask them in the first place.  It's a gift, children.  A gift.


  1. Love it!!!! Wish you'd been on staff where I taught....we'd have had a grand time.

  2. The first one is priceless. Priceless!!


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