There are days where I don’t know what to do

I always assumed that by my twentieth year of teaching, I would have figured everything out. How to deal with boring content. How to silence the student who can’t stop themselves. How to deal with the bobos*.

I feel that I have met my match this year. We have gone 1 to 1, which is great, but opens up a whole different set of challenges. Instead of notes being passed like they used to be, it’s Google Hangouts that I’m looking for. Students appearing to take diligent notes are actually playing Funky Karts or some other nonsensical game that I don’t understand.

The increase in technology should allow me to do things that I’ve never been able to do before. I’ve found EdPuzzle, which allows me to assign videos, insert questions, offer audio annotation, and see which students watched the whole thing, and answered questions correctly. It should be a great tool to personalize learning.

But, for reasons that no one gets, it doesn’t work on some students’ devices, which both changes my plans and frustrates students.

Lessons that should be exciting, engaging, and show some thought have had mixed results. Today, we discussed innovation – a topic that should excite students. And it did, for some. But others, not so much.

I had students who had amazing ideas for how they could change an existing product they use daily. A touch screen insulin pump. A virtual reality TV. A hair brush that dries your hair while you brush it. These all seemed like great ideas!

Then, there were others. I don’t think I have any students who would read my blog, but I won’t risk it either. Just think of the some of the goofiest innovations you can, and then imagine something goofier.

But the real frustration? So many students focused on the ridiculous, non-sensical ideas rather than being impressed by the truly visionary ones!

I know that life is full of roller coasters, but I’m not enjoying this one!

So… what do you do on the days like this? The days where all you want to do is crawl under a desk and hide? How do you recenter so that tomorrow IS a better day?

 *bobos – this is the name I’ve given to students who drive me nuts. It can be adapted to whatever need I have at the moment.


One thought on “There are days where I don’t know what to do

  1. Hi Chris,
    Having been in your shoes once or twice, can I suggest you have a “bad idea day”?

    Kevin Brookhouser has done this with his kids and actually recorded this.
    Here’s the link:
    (An alternative:

    I have showed my students this prior to the “true” ideation day… We get all nonsensical ideas on the floor. Invite them ALL. Then facilitate a discussion on how these miss the mark for what you are doing as a class.
    I hope this helps.

    Here’s another resource with loads of project facilitation ideas:

    Enjoy the journey. And as someone wise once posted as his tagline, “The world is too big for you to teach it alone.” 😉

    Happy Thursday, Chris.


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