Friday, February 5, 2010

a few more classroom quips

Part of the deal with teaching special ed. is you have kids working way below their potential, not just in a skill like reading, but in analytical thinking. A lot of my job is waking kids from their mental slumbers. One way I do this is by asking them questions that require active thinking. Because it's true that if you expect kids to respond intelligently consistently, most will. I actually had a kid who'd been with me two years tell someone else, "man, when i came to this class, i used to be retarded."

So in asking kids some questions I get some off-the-wall answers from kids who think they're retarded. Like these:

Mr. Stipp: Where do babies go to the bathroom.
(students responded in rapid fire)
student 1: in the toilet
student 2: outside
student 3: in the kitchen
student 4: in the diaper bag

Mr. Stipp: Is 47 closer to 40 or 50?
student 5: (exuberantly) yes!!!

Mr. Stipp: Write about what you want to do when you grow up:
student 6: Mr. Stipp, how do you spell FBI?

Mr. Stipp: I want to talk about the word "voyage." Does anyone know what "voyage" means?
student 4: (as if he's meeting me half-way) I know what aluminum foil is.

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