Candid Camera

I think today I may just have been on some new hidden camera show designed to put teachers in the most unusual positions and see what they will do.  It will be a huge hit.  Especially with today’s episode.  Here is some of the dialogue:

Me: Everyone turn to this page in your notebook.   Be careful, it is not the next page in your notebook.  That page looks similar, but I want you to turn to the first page we glued in.   It says examples at the top. 

Look around.  Half the class is on the wrong page.

Me: C, H, Q, M, J…- Look at your page.  It is not the page I have on the board.  Does your page say examples at the top?

Students: Why are we on that page?  That’s not the next page in our notebook.

Me: I know, but I want to show you an example before you do the work with your own data.  So turn to the page that says examples at the top…

Me: Now.

Me: C, H, Q… you didn’t turn the page.

Students: But that page says step 3 at the top, we are on step 5.

Me: No, mine says step 5.

Student: It does?

Me: Yes.  So turn to this page.

Student: But it is not the next page in my notebook. 

Me: No, I agree, it is not.  Which I actually already explained.  Turn there anyway.  Ok, so I am going to use this page to explain the problem from my example before you do this with your data from your project…

Student: This is a project?

Me: Sure.

Student: Why do we do projects?

Me: Because I planned to do one.  And guess what, I AM IN CHARGE.

Student: I like projects.

Me: Good.  Now, you are going to write down what I am writing with my data, then do this with your data on the other page.  So here is part 1….

Student: Do we write this down?

Me: Yes.  I just said this.  Write it down.  So we do part one like this…

Student: Do we do this with our data or with your data?

Me: My data.  It is my example.  You will do this with your data in a minute.  Ok, so here is how we do part 1…. (explain it) 

Student: What is this second part for?

Me: Part 2.

Student: When did we do part 2? 

Me: We didn’t.  Which is why my second row is blank.

Student: So we don’t need to do it?

Me: Well, you will need to do it, we just aren’t on part 2 yet, so we haven’t done it.

Student: Oh, so that is where our data goes?

Me: No, your data goes on the other page, this is my example page, so I am using my data.  As an example.

Phone rings.

Me: A- you have an appointment, head down to the office.

Another student: THAT SUCKS!!!! 

Me: Excuse me?  What sucks?

Student: That he has to leave math.  I feel sorry for him. 

Me: Well that is nice, but is there a different word you can use other than “sucks”?

Student: I didn’t yell.

Me: Well you kinda yelled, but my point is that the word sucks isn’t really the most appropriate word to say in the classroom.

Student: That’s a bummer.

Me: Much better.  Ever get the feeling you are on candid camera?

Student: Why is that?

Me: It just feels a bit like someone could be taping this right now and testing me to see my reaction.  Ok, so back to the example…

Student: What’s gibbits?

Me: Uh, excuse me?

Students: You said gibbits.  I don’t know what that is.  So I am asking.

Me: I did not say gibbits.

Student: She said camera.

Student: Oh, ok, camera.  That makes more sense.

Me: Wait.  You misheard camera as gibbits?

Student: Yes….

And it continues.  Unfortunately, this was just a tiny part of my day.  Not at all a bad day, just one where I feel as though I just may have been speaking a totally different language and that is why not one single thing I said was understood by any student today.  There really was a point today when I thought to myself, should I even continue to try?  Or just give up and try again tomorrow. 

On another note, the day ended amazingly, as we Skyped with David J. Smith, the author of If the World Were a Village.  I did a project based on this book and Mr. Smith found it and contacted me.  Skyping with him was so awesome for the kids who were able to come, and they were all so thankful and appreciative when it was done.  So glad that it all went well!


3 thoughts on “Candid Camera

  1. HAHAHAHA! Your post reminds me of when I used to teach 6th grade math. Sometimes I miss it, but being sick right now does not put me in the mood to wish I was back there. Hope you are enjoying it!

  2. As a hint, it’s a waste of breath to tell them you already told them. With my class,I asked how often I had to resay things. They agreed on three ( I tried for two). So after three times, I no longer say ti again, the rest of the class has to say it. And sometimes I have to grit my teeth for the third resay, but I do, knowing it is the last. They do listen better.

  3. I was laughing out loud throughout this post….probably because I could relate soooo well! Thank you for sharing! Often I wish I had had a way to record exchanges that happen just so I can remember them…there seem to be so many moments that make me laugh or simply shake my head!

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