In honor of summer vacation, Crazy Teacher, my alter ego, will be posting to this blog. Crazy’s advice for dealing with difficult people and situations is, “Show them that you are crazier than they are.” Here is an excerpt from The Crazy Teacher’s Advice Book.
Question to Crazy Teacher
When two sixth graders get into a fight in a school hallway and there is no one else around, what do I do to break it up?
Answer Provided by Crazy Teacher
Blink your eyes three times, and transform into that legendary crazy teacher, able to end fights, make students laugh, and turn moody adolescents into sweet little boys—Grandma Edna Cohen!
Read on to learn Grandma Edna Cohen’s trade secrets…
“Oy! Oy! Oy! This is not good. How can you do this to me. Oy! Oy! Oy!” Edna holds her head in her hands and rocks back and forth, back and forth. She waits.
The boys stop fighting.
“Do you know where most of my friends are now?”
The boys stop fighting and look at Edna.
“My friends are in Miami Beach, in Florida. Do you know what most of my friends are doing in Miami Beach, Florida now?” Edna waits a second or two. “They are lying on lounge chairs by a pool, drinking pina coladas.”
The IS-SHE-FOR-REAL? look on the young boys’ faces warms Grandma Edna Cohen’s old teacher soul. “Do I look like I’m lying on a lounge chair at a pool in Miami Beach? Do you see a pina colada in my hand?”
The boys try to maintain their fury, but alas, they fail.
“So, dahlinks, listen to me, bubalas! Be good little boys and go back to class and be nice. OK?”
Application and Follow-Up by The Crazy Teacher
I excel at doing Grandma Edna Cohen, but that doesn’t mean I can’t transform myself into another character in my repertoire. Another favorite of mine is celebrity pole dancer, Lola La La La Lampert. When Lola sizzles out “Hi boys,” her low-pitched guttural voice coming from the body of an elderly woman wearing a blousy top, wide pants, teacher cardigan and thick soled, brown, sensible shoes is guaranteed to make perps stop whatever bad stuff they are doing. (By the way, I don’t share Lola’s pole dancer moves, I just use them in my mind to get into my character.)
If you’re a new teacher, you might want to use part of this summer vacation to develop your own repertoire of characters. If you’re a veteran, you might want to share one of your own creations.
Thank you and best wishes for a great summer!