Saturday, February 14, 2015

Secondary Smorgasbord - February Funnies Hop!

Thanks to Darlene Anne Curran  and Pamela Kranz for another awesome Secondary Smorgasbord topic: February Funnies.

I chalk up one of my most embarrassing "You Didn't do THAT" classroom moments to Teaching Perils. Tripping on backpacks, becoming tangled in the legs of desks and falling into students, and being so focused on the lesson that you can't see floating balloons are three of these menaces.

Once upon a dreary late February morning, Mother Nature's waffled over blanketing us with yet another day of gloom and grayness or teasing us with slivers of spring breezes wafting from puffy clouds back-lit by the sun, My 4th period seniors, pushing for spring and spring break, decided to play volleyball with a bright blue balloon while I affirmed, enthusiastically I thought, the importance of the sun in Albert Camus' The Stranger.

More concerned about turning my students' attitudes from tepid to hot, my brain didn't even register the volleyball balloon game until the blue orb floated into my peripheral vision. Suddenly, I found myself airborne, my body totally parallel to the  floor, and my arms stretched into a Save position that would have made US Women's Volleyball Olympians, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, cheer.

During my nano-second flight, I honed in on 26 faces staring at me, mouths agape and eyes as wide as Frisbees. The last sound I heard was Total. Silence.

As my black slacks and lime-green and black Chico's clad body splatted onto the tiled concrete floor dusted with the grit from 54 feet, my hands slid under the balloon in perfect timing, and I propelled it over my students heads as I gasped, "I had to save it, didn't I?"

Too stunned to move, every last one of those teenagers, all of them lusting after sand, surf and beach volleyball, let.the.balloon.hit.the.floor.

And I tore the right knee of my all-time favorite black slacks.

After struggling to my feet up as gracefully as my aging body allowed, I brushed away as much floor grime as my screaming in pain muscles could take and said, "Okay kids, jot down as many references to the sun and its effect on Meursault as you can in five minutes." 

As I slowly slid into my red and black tweed desk chair, I grinned and said, "You have to admit - that was a great save!"

Only then did we all break into laughter.  "That was awesome, Mrs. C," Justin said as he erupted into guffaws once again.

That day, my students came up with some of their best analytic thoughts. 

Was my pride wounded?  No. After twenty-some years in the classroom, my pride could live through another embarrassing moment scar.

Do I recommend this as a way to dissolve student apathy?  Not unless your body can take it.

Happy Teaching,

Enjoy some more"What happened in my class" anecdotes.