What Does it Take to Be Successful in Middle School? Be Crazy | Science in the City

Jan 27, 2013

What Does it Take to Be Successful in Middle School? Be Crazy

To get middle schoolers attention, I think you need to be a little bit crazy.  That's not my strength.  My strengths are lesson planning, differentiation, and building relationships with the kids, but not being crazy and off-beat and entertaining.

When I student taught in middle school, my supervising teacher had been (honestly) a magician in Vegas before he became a teacher.  Every really good middle school teacher seems to have a "gimmick" or a way to get kids attention, whether its something consistent, or something out of the blue....Surprise candy, music, old stories, etc....some kind of "cool" factor.

When I was in 8th grade, my Social Studies teacher was a retired long-time army man. He still looked and acted very military, and that was entertaining to 8th graders.

My husband told me a story about someone he knew.  This person had broken ribs and had a cast on their torso, but it didn't show under his shirt, so the kids didn't know it was there.  It was a windy day and his tie kept blowing up and getting in his face.  He grabbed the stapler off of his desk and stapled his tie to his chest.  He said the kids behaved perfectly the rest of the day.

I know another teacher who keeps some blooper videos and funniest home videos on a flash drive. He will sometimes play them to get kids attention, or as a reward at the end of class.  Here is a compilation of funniest America's Funniest Home Videos to get you started...

When we have spirit week I do dress up, and the kids get a big kick of out it.   But how to carry some of that through the rest of the year?

Do you think that's an integral part of teaching?  Especially of teaching middle school?  What other funny stories or unique teachers do you know of?

1 comment :

  1. I teach MS science and for Halloween I did scary a science presentation.
    I asked in the bell work if money burns, tied that with the Jokers clip burning money from The Dark Knight where he says "Its bout sending a message" and then did the alcohol and water solution on a bill into the bunsen burner demonstration.
    I used a new 100 dollar bill.
    Which everyone examined before I lit the burner.
    The alcohol burns off and the bill remains untouched and they talked about it for weeks.


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