From the Classroom. From the Baby's Room. #2

03 February 2012

From the Classroom

My boss always discourages jokes on the first day of class. This is a bit of a phobia for me now, and I repeat it like a mantra on my first day with any new group of students: "No jokes. No jokes. No jokes." I always make a few anyways, and they typically don't go over well. I'm at the end of my first month of teaching this semester - so not anywhere near day one - but I reflect on this advice today as I'm reeling after teaching 2 lame classes and watching 38 unresponsive students.

I'm not a big jokester. I'm not the funny person at the table. My brother is. But there's something about being in up in front of a clan of droopy-eyed teenagers that calls me to make jokes. Rarely very effectively. When they laugh, they laugh at things I didn't intend to be funny. 

I bet if I were to peruse the "Cracking Jokes in Class" section of a teaching manual I would find that I'd made every mistake I could. 

Mistake #1: Joke arises spontaneously in 8am class and goes over well, and so you try to recreate the conditions for said joke in your 9am. This will almost certainly bust.

Mistake #2: Making a joke in an 8am class to try to wake your students up. This doesn't work either. Every dimwit knows students have to be awake to hear said joke.

Every dimwit except me apparently.

Don't worry. There's a happy ending to this story:

From the Baby's Room:

Jake thinks I'm hysterical:


  1. Are you doing Darth Vader voice? Is that the spontaneous "joke" you were doing with your students? Because if so, that is BRILLIANT! I'm gonna have to use it on my own students!
    Also, Jakey is SOOOOO cute! Oh my! Love you,

    1. Ack! No Darth Vader voice. That's what I've been doing wrong!!

  2. Hello, I enjoy reading all of your post. I wanted to write a little comment to support you. |

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  6. Hi Krishnan, that’s great! I’ve never cited Tolkein beofre but that fits perfectly in the case of ‘…but some of my best friends are’. |


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