DM (to our half-elf rogue): You’re now cursed. Whenever you step into the moonlight, you turn into a giant lobster.
Wizard: See, I told you not to go grabbing random magic items but no— Nobody ever listens to me.
So this girl walks up to another girl and says “Hey, have you heard of the Bechdel Test?”
And the other girl says, “Yeah, my boyfriend was telling me about it the other day!”
i don’t get it
I feel like this is an inside joke that I am not getting
izzyblair said: What's the difference between embarrassing a student in front of his peers and other things? Like if you threaten to call parents, is that embarrassing? I'm just struggling to understand the difference between joking with a student in front of the class and embarrassing them in front of the class. Love your blog!!
This is one of the best questions I’ve had (and most of the questions I receive are excellent). I just found out from one of my Twitter followers a few days ago that his university teachers’ education course uses You Suck, Sir as required reading as of this year. They use it as a discussion starter on what teaching methods they approve of and which ones they don’t. As an educator, I would hate it if my blog were used as a how-to guide because there is no one method for effective teaching.
My joking style is a perfect fit for me. I’m also a stand-up comedian and have played the largest comedy festival in the world and some of the crappiest bars in small towns across Canada (and the US west coast). I’m quite quick on my feet and am used to dealing with hecklers and interruptions. And here’s what I’ve learned: you can position your heckler so that he’s either in on the joke or the butt of the joke.
In the classroom, you never want to make a student the butt of your joke. Never. You don’t want students laughing AT him, but WITH him. Early in my career, I made the mistake a few times of accidentally stepping over that line and have hurt students with my words. I always apologized immediately after in private and things were fine, but those moments stayed with me. Once you see your words sting a young person, you never forget it.
But I have students who love being called out by me. They know if they are smart alecks, I’ll say something funny to put them in their place. And they love it. And this is allowed because of one thing: TRUST. They trust I respect all of them so I can get away with it. (And to be honest, they’ve also seen me online and heard me on radio so know they’re sometimes getting a free show and revel in that.)
But you have to find a teaching style that integrates your natural personality with a strong pedagogical, professional style that is honest and respectful of the learning space. And, again, there is no one fit for all.
I had a French teacher back in ‘84. Madame Kearns. She was not what you would call a funny person. She was quite serious. Almost scary. But we knew she cared about us. I walked into class late one day wearing tight black jeans tucked into high black leather boots with chains and stuff over my jacket. (Hello, 80s!) She coolly said, “Three belts? Who wears three belts? Why in God’s name would you need three belts to hold up those skinny jeans in particular?” The whole class laughed. I looked at her and she had the tiniest, wryest of smiles and I immediately knew she had said it out of love—and to make sure I’m never late again. If any other teacher had said that to me, I would have been angry. But I trusted her.