Monday, November 29, 2010


White boards snap up across the room with eager faces behind them.  We are playing a review game for their grammar test tomorrow.  Anytime I can incorporate tiny white boards, I will have immediate student engagement.

Three groups tie at the end.  There is no prize.  I want to give final tips for studying and preparing, so I opt for this instead of a tie-breaking round.  One of the winning groups does not like this call.  They taste arbitrary victory, and they want to claim it.

I review the expectations for the test, and look to the back of the room.  Brandon, one of the tying group members, is grinning from the couch.  His white board is in the air.  "Grrr," it says.

Brandon is a kid who is so quietly funny that I had to call home one night just to tell his parents how much I appreciate his sense of humor and how well he manages appropriate timing and delivery so it doesn't interfere with instruction.  

I continue with directions and suggestions, reminding students of the low-stakes nature of the assessment and what their options are if they don't do as well as they'd hope.  My gaze finds Brandon again.  He's holding up his white board.  "This is ridiculous!" it proclaims.

I can't imagine laughing so much in any other profession.

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