Ten Thousand Questions A Day

The secret to learning is asking questions. Students should train themselves to ask ten thousand questions a day, I model this for them by answering all of their questions with questions. “What are we doing today, Mr. Newhart?”
“I don’t know. What are we doing today?” I reply.
“Should we read the next chapter or are we still talking about this one?”
“Should we read the next chapter?” I ask. “Or should we talk about this one?”
Pretty quickly the students realize that the best questions elicit more questions and that those who want easy answers are not learning or adventuring through a learning experience, but are merely shutting out possibility and short-circuiting the thinking process.
Recently I gave a test to see if my students had read Book One of Homer’s Odyssey and the students answered with challenging questions of their own.
“Who is Telemachus?” I asked on the test.
“Who IS Telemachus?” they wrote back. “Do we really know? And does Telemachus really know who he is?”
My students have begun to think. I am so proud!


My Smartphone Revolution!

Smartphones have revolutionized education! They are smart… and we can learn from them… and we can learn through them… by using them to communicate more directly. I can send a group text or a group email to my entire class while they are sitting in front of me! So instead of fighting with technology I am adopting and adapting! I no longer speak directly to my students while they play Trivia Crack on their phones. Now I simply sit at my desk and text instructions over and over again to them. I have restricted all classroom communications to texts and emails (I will not answer them in person) and use my phone for everything. The students find this extremely annoying and try to shout me down, but I simply yell out in a robotic voice that I cannot hear them unless they are talking through my screen. A few students have begged me to look up at them and listen to a personal complaint or question or give permission to use the restroom, but I have yet to make an exception because a good teacher should always be stern and consistent when retraining student behavior. Bad habits do not break themselves!

My Super Student!

My doggie makes me smile because he is always happy. He wicks me and wuves me with his wittle doggie heart. Most of all I wuve my doggie-woggie because he learns so much so fast unlike human students who are slow and stupid and ungrateful. Snowball is my bestest student–never gets frowny, never talks back, never leaves without permission unless I leave the front door open when the garbage truck goes by. He doesn’t ask for makeup tests because he was smoking pot with his friends or argue about his grade. He just wuves to learn from me every minute of every day. This morning he jumped into my bed and snuggled up to my cheek, and I said, “Snowball!, Daddy’s sleeping. Get off the bed, go outside, do a pee-pee and then wait by the door for your bone-woney.”…And that is exactly what he did! He listened thoughtfully to every word, nodded and flawlessly executed the command without asking a question or needing me to repeat my instructions three times. So now I ask you this semi-serious question: Why do we waste public education on humans who don’t appreciate it when there are so many deserving doggies who could benefit from those resources?