My students created and performed an improvised parody of me teaching in the classroom

Listen to the Podcast Version of this post here.

“Team 7! What do you think the answer is? You don’t know? Okay, I’ll come back to you for the second question,” the student said, with a strong, powerful voice.

Today, my students in one of my periods were getting extremely restless, and had trouble listening to my instructions.

“Ms. He said this to me…”

“Ms. I want to go to the bathroom.”

“Ms. I’m hungry…”

Meanwhile, five other students were raising their hands to let me know they were finished with their reading assignment, needing me to input their scores.

My voice was strained, tired, and weak. I could hardly hear myself. A big difference from five weeks ago, when I thought my voice sounded louder than usual, brimming with confidence and control.

I’ve had it. I had to stop everything. I was getting impatient and frustrated.

“Ok. I cannot do everything at the same time–” I began, before another student interrupted about how multitasking was easy. I stood my ground, and continued, “Ok. Fine. If you want to come up and teach, go ahead.”

Two students confidently strode up to the front of the class to tackle on this improvised challenge. And I let them.

“Okay, check-in. How are we all feeling today?” One of them read off my first slide.

Another student mumbles, “See? Look, everyone is listening. But it’s hard for Ms.”

“Mister!” another student yelled on in the back, playing along to test the new “teachers.”

Then, another student up front got up suddenly to get a book.–when he got cut off, by one of the “student teachers” in the front, “What are you doing standing up? Sit back down. You need to ask for permission.”

And that student listened. Everyone laughed.

I then coached the 2 student teachers on the side on what to do next. As the two of them took on the lesson, guiding the class to follow along, I saw a student sitting off to the side raising his hand. I walked over and asked him what he needed.

He smiled at me and said, “I’m asking [insert of the student teacher’s names].” I smiled back and walked away.

“Miss [insert last name of student teacher]!” A student, who usually just plays on his phone, sitting all the way in the back, yells in a high pitch whiny voice two times, answers a question correctly.

“Miss” walks over and awards him with one of her own scholar dollars she won from me. Later, the student carelessly drops it on the floor. “Miss” sees it and scolds him,

“Why is my scholar dollar on the ground?! If you lose it again, I’m not giving you another one again!”

These were the exact same words I said two days ago to the other “student teacher.”

Class was moving on at a great pace, with funny interruptions, and bursts of laughter in between.

When it was time for independent work, the two student teachers walked around and made sure everyone was working. A student raised his hands to ask to go to the restroom, and one of the student teachers said, “Oh, we need the real teacher for that.”

I chuckled at my new role, “the real teacher.”

At the end of the class, the two student teachers felt that the job was easy. They were open to doing this every day. Other students chimed in, asking if we can do this every Friday.

“We’ll see,” I told my students, my eyes twinkling with amusement.

It was a very interesting experience to see how two of my students pretended to be me. Most of the class was engaged. They were watching a parody of me. I also noticed that they picked up a lot of my mannerisms and phrases I say and repeat a lot, especially corrective ones. Never have I realized how little praise I send to my students, or how much students enjoy having control over their classmates. I have been working on the “4 positive to 1 corrective” ratio in the classroom. It is tough. It is hard to noticed the positive things happening in the classroom when it gets constantly eclipsed by everything that is going wrong.

I will definitely have to see of these two students still think “being the teacher” is easy after another week, or month…

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