Where’s the fun?

October 30, 2010 at 9:43 AM Leave a comment

Serious fun can get too serious, especially when I’m too busy. When everything becomes a check-it-off, one more chore done, including getting round to tables of students working on their bouncy ball lab and stretch-it rubber band and underwear labs.On Halloween with two guys dressed up as police men with silky short shorts. Another with a box that said “ER” on it. A boxer. A devil’s cheerleader, a dead fairy (no one believed in her), two nerds (girls) as if that were a bad thing. Cute, sexier ladybugs than dad realized at breakfast when they still had shorts on over their tights. Imaginative, funny and sweet costumes, especially the cupcake. Oh, and the guy who’s last name is Chan. His ‘costume’ was a white shirt with “Jackie” on the chest pocket.

How can all that not be fun? Especially as 13 and 14 year olds are just discovering the real joy of flirtatious friendships. Remember that revelation? Years ago, throwing corks across the room with Peter Wilson, ramping up the ante until we got caught. Passing hilarious cartoons and notes. Oh, and sewing extra hands onto a dissected rat and hanging it over the door for the next class to see.   True, we weren’t that inspired by the teacher but we didn’t do it to be mean, the shared naughtiness was irresistible.

But now, what’s fun for them is really exasperating and frustrating for me, making it hard to trust them to do labs. Tightening up effectively is very difficult. Using sticks and carrots. But basically talking too much in an attempt to control what happens. I’m exhausted and not having fun.

This weekend, objective is to lighten up and have some fun myself. School is not the only thing in their lives and shouldn’t be for me either. Nothing’s planned, still in leopard-skin pajamas at 10.30am.  Jennifer is coming round for a mud walk in the hills later. English people and North-Westers like that. Then planting bulbs with Annette. Love most of all to do outdoors stuff with friends. Maybe take pics of the rain-washed landscape and clearing skies this evening if I can persuade Kurt to take me out to the coast for sunset :-).

Next week, engineering challenges. Will let them get to it fast and make the connections with real life SECOND, after their interest is piqued and they have personal experience of what affects pillar strength etc. See our lesson plans with links to the sheets for 1st Nov.

And here’s something inspirational for later – I want to talk to these guys in Utah about their amazing project based learning: Students get extra push with real world experience

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Entry filed under: Class Management, Physics Topics, Project Based Learning.

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