01 March 2008

Teacher Annalog: V is for Victory

It's admittedly a small victory, but I'm going to shamelessly revel in it nevertheless.

To my astonishment, my fourth grade demons have started to refer to me as "Miss Annalog." I only asked them to call me "Annalog." The "Miss" part is a pleasant surprise. They've referred to me as "Miss Annalog" for the past two classes, so I no longer think it's a fluke occurrence.

Some of you must be wondering, how did you tame those wild beasts? My answer is probably contrary to everything you'd probably learn as a professionally trained teacher, but here are a few of my tips:

1. When students call you a "devil" or tell you, in so many words, that they despise your existence, simply respond, "I'm rubber and you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you."

2. Then, reinforce their low opinion of you through self-deprecating humor.
Or, do a reverse attack, and indulge in self-flattery and ask things like, "Besides me, of course, who do you admire most in the world?" I like to mix up both tactics in an effort to confuse them and leave them thinking, "Does she want us to hate her or love her?"

3. Reward students with candy. I believe that in the biz, they call this "bribery."

4. If you are dealing with primarily male elementary students, try to drop the following words as much as possible: butt, blood, bombs, fart, Nintendo DS, and monsters. If you are dealing with female students, I imagine that you should use these terms: pink, princess, puppies, cell phones, and Hanna Montana.

5. Encourage every little action worthy of merit.
You did all of your homework? Excellent? You did MOST of your homework? Nice job! You only did the easy parts of your homework? Good effort! You threw you cup in the GARBAGE CAN? That's so thoughtful of you! You didn't try to disparage my reputation as a teacher? You're a champ! You don't wish me to die -- TODAY? You are just too precious!

Allow students to take an extra long break.
Okay, that one's really not to win the boys over. That's really more for your sanity.

7. If all else fails, threaten to call their mom.

I think that about covers it.
I hope my advice will help teachers across the globe.
I should note that I am not responsible for any ill consequences that may arise from practice of these tips. Your misuse of the aforementioned strategies simply means that you are inept and obviously not as skilled as Teacher Annalog. :)


Steven said...

great advice. it'd be more useful for me if i'd had decided to become a music teacher (my kind-of dream when in highschool) but now that i'm in med school, not so much.

unless i follow my second dream to teach english abroad after i retire. at the age of 40.

greetings from chicago, btw. my name is steven.

anna said...

Hi, Steven. Good luck with med school. If you decide to teach in Korea later down the line, I'm sure you'll be golden. Koreans would go bonkers over an English teacher M.D.

gordsellar said...

Heh, Korean doctors would kill for private lessons with an anglophone MD, actually.

My technique for taming the kids was to be the biggest hardass ever for the first week of class. All kinds of stand up with your arms above your head stuff, and making the WHOLE CLASS stand up for anyone's infraction of class rules or any hint of disrespect, just for a week, and then it didn't matter how nice I was to them, they always knew there was a line that it was better not to cross. I learned it from our senior teacher, whom I think learned it in Ed Psych courses in Canada, but I'm not sure. It worked wonders, though, especially with the littlest kids, who were insanely wild.