WeirdTBC – Chapter 1: Rockstar

A bunch of Twitter users and I decided to read “He’s the Weird Teacher” by Doug Robertson and have our own book talk. Someone mentioned having a blog post about each chapter. While I doubt I’ll remember to post about each chapter, I thought I would start off with the first one.

What is your personal rockstar mantra? What inspired it?

When I was 19 and in a class designed to give me a very brief (4 or 5 weeks brief) overview of what it was to be a teacher, I was given the assignment of writing a philosophy of teaching. Given this was a pass/fail assignment, I decided that the best way to give 19 year old me who was still in denial that I would become a teacher the best hope I could at actually passing this assignment while still being true to myself. I put myself in the mindset that if I was going to be a teacher, this would be what I thought about that. The assignment was wordy, did not flow well and was the result of an idea of what I hoped my favourite teachers had thought about being teachers or what I hoped that a few of my teachers never said because if they did, they did not live up to it in the opinion of 10 year old me. If you want to read that philosophy of teaching, I’ve uploaded it here.

I went on through my stages of acceptance of becoming a teacher and that philosophy changed, shortened and became even less refined but more honest. I laughed because Doug mentions that he taped his mantra in the file cabinet. Mine is in my car’s glove compartment. The only person who has probably seen it is the guy who fixes my car and if it wasn’t the giant stuffed shark buckled in the back seat of my old car, when he found this, he’d probably assume I was weird just from that. I embrace my inner weirdness and share it with you.

I shall be your anemone and in turn, you will be a clownfish in learning

I was watching Finding Nemo – one of my favourites – and I thought the explanation of anemones and clownfish were connected and reliant on each other was beautiful and made me think of learning. Somehow that translated into that I wanted to be an anemone. There are even actions to this and my somewhat childish humour finds it amusing to tell kids they are a clownfish. It is no “bombtastic rockstar frontman of a never ending education funk machine” but those who know me, won’t be surprised by my mantra.


Link: How Geniuses Think

For years students have been taught one way to do things and they memorize how to do it. Students need to be encourage to develop the skills to look at a problem, then look at it at least two different ways.  See the link for an amazing post on How Geniuses Think. Challenge: how can we build those skill with our students?

How Geniuses Think