Thursday, April 10, 2014

Students and Teachers Both Have Secrets, Learn from Each Other

We have probably all run into people in our lives who surprise us by doing something that seems out of character. That's what the students in Jim O'Connor's math class encountered earlier this year. They thought they knew their stern math teacher, until they learned he had a softer side. This video actually came out on Valentine's Day, but I just came across it. And I am glad I did.


Before learning Mr. O'Connor's secret, these students would probably have voted for him as the grumpiest teacher. Now, they have a better understanding of what makes him tick. It's amazing what can happen when you take the time to get to know someone.

In contrast, another group of students who DO know their teacher decided to play a prank on him last week for April Fool's Day. The teacher had a policy that if your phone rang in class you had to answer it on speaker so everyone could hear who was calling. Another student made a video as the prank played out.

Now, the students in the second video had high regard for their teacher. And he did not disappoint with his reaction. To his credit, he did not get mad or punish the students for the prank. This time it was the teacher who learned a secret about a student -- albeit a false secret. But he changed his policy after this joke, and he no longer requires them to answer aloud for all to hear. That is probably a wise thing. I can imagine the lawsuit if that had been real rather than a rank!


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