Monday, April 27, 2009

52 Teachers, 52 Lessons #15: Bring Your Enthusiasm & Energy

This week's entry comes from middle school history teacher Ryan Kaden:

Enthusiasm & Energy--you HAVE to bring it to your classroom (at least at the middle school level and higher). The elementary kids who at Fruity Pebbles and Mountain Dew for breakfast have plenty of it but first period in a middle school can be dead. Stone cold DEAD! You have to remember that middle school & high school kids aren't getting nearly as much sleep as they should, they are bombarded with non stop visual and auditory stimulation--except (perhaps) when they are in school. 99% of the energy present in a class when the bell rings is the teachers--the students are empty. They need to SEE that you are excited about teaching their class that day. I teach American History and begin my class with a chance for students to be loud, involved, and interested in history. After the bell rings, I say, "It is April 10th and on this day . . . " The class responds with "IN WORLD HISTORY!!" Then I read 4-6 interesting births, deaths, or events from the day. Kids love it--and it serves several purposes. It creates some positive energy in the class, it is a great way to get everyone's attention as class starts, and the kids are interested in the invention of the guillotine or that a meteorite hit a woman in Tulsa, OK or that a man received a baboon heart and lived for a short time. Additionally, you can put the kid's birthdays in as well--its a nice way to recognize them. If you can't manage to be excited about your lessons--it is time to get a different job. The kids will let you know--they are perceptive.

Read more about this project here or add the 52 teachers 52 lessons tag to your favorites. Email your entries to teachforeverATgmailDOTcom. Week 16 will be posted next Monday, May 4th.