Today I was held up on the other side of the building at the start of my advanced class. I told the teacher I was talking to that I had better go because my rowdy group of smarties were probably running amok by then (this week I have already had 3 “less HW” points show up mysteriously on the scoreboard while I was standing in the hallway during class-change).
I walk in to find Johnny Smith (we’ll call him) has taken charge of the class and is going over the answers to the warm up problems in a semi-serious way. He’s calling on students to come up and write their answers on the board. The class looks at me when I walk in, but I tell them to carry on as if I’m not there. I went ahead and sat down in the back.
Then comes the Power Teaching. Chatter and laughter fill the room as I sit down. Johnny responds to this with a deep, stearn, “Claaasss.” And gets a perfect, “Yeeeesss” back. Johnny continues, “I know you don’t want more homework tonight.” (I laughed to myself that, being a student himself, he only threatened more HW, but didn’t actually put a point on the More HW side of the scoreboard.)
He went on through the rest of the warm ups and really got me laughing when he called for a 10-finger woo to a student who found and fixed a mistake on the board — still using his version of a “teacher tone.”
It was just too funny. The power of routines in your classroom can not be underestimated. It also goes to show that if someone else, even a 13 year old boy, knows a few whole brain teaching “tricks,” they can man the class just the way you would. Johnny was also not the one I would have expected to take over. I have other students who I thought would have jumped at the chance to take center stage. Johnny had great charisma with the class and (to a scary degree) imitated all my tones and mannerisms very accurately.
It was a great start to my morning.