Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Props to one of my classes

Sitting in Economics for two hours is not fun. Trust me, I sat in Economics classes that ran two hours during college, and they flat out suck.

However, one of my classes not only sat in my class for two hours, but went through almost 90 minutes of straight lecture/discussion with note taking, and hardly a negative peep from the whole class (yes, I made sure they were awake). Since we were a day behind from college FAFSA presentations, I had to cram in some serious investing notes. Currently, I'm working on transferring all my notes onto Power Point presentations, something that is a little more interesting for the kids. The kids asked great questions, seemed very involved in the lecture, and were excellent for the period. I was thrilled to end the day with this class!

For some reason, this class has "worked", if you get my drift. First of all, about a quarter of the students had my in World History as a freshman, and already know my story. Others are as brash and bold as I am with sarcasm and humor, therefore making the class very interesting. They do an excellent job being able to jab some fun with crossing the line (which will be much more difficult later in the year) or without staying off topic for long. For instance, here is sample of topics we covered in the 90 minutes, in some semblance of order:
-Reasons to Invest
-Issues with College Investing
-The Rule of 72
-Was the picture of Einstein sticking his tongue out a fake?
-Best method to rob banks
-Savings accounts
-Why a male student wants to open a woman's underwear store
-Government bonds
-Nuclear holocaust
-Real Estate
-The high cost of home maintance
-Why one of the students should be in a Grease movie
-Comic books and baseball cards
-Inflation pressure on investments

You get the point. Now, it might seem like we get off topic and that it ruins the flow, but the students will kindly let you know when it is time to run with it. That, and you will develop the ability to find a happy medium. The banter really does keep them sharp, at least in this class. It also does well in two other classes, were students enjoy being in the class. Two classes don't do as well. One class is sensitive to sarcasm, with some students being a little too tender, and other becoming too offended. The other class just hates being at school period, and spends every waking moment letting you know about it. Sarcasm won't work with this class because they are simply looking for distractions and a reason to get nasty. Let me clarify that. There are 3-5 students in there that feel like that. My patience is wearing on this class, and I'm about ready to weed out the bad element. Today a new student in the class was text messaging during Silent Reading. He was new as in he just entered the class last week. He's not THAT new because he had me as teacher and TA two years ago. Right now, I'm just mentally preparing myself for the parental onslaught that is coming when I toss 5 kids out at once and drop their grades. But hey, I teach those that want to learn, not those that want to prevent others from learning.
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