Monthly Archives: May 2012

Dumb Things I’ve Said and Done as a Teacher

Perhaps one of the dumbest things I’ve ever said to a group of students was, “The reason some of you struggle in math is because it’s hard for you.” I know. Not very profound. Sometimes my mouth gets ahead of my brain. The number of times I’ve said something stupid over the last fifteen years has probably happened more than I care to remember.

The same is true for dumb things I’ve done. At the top of this list is the time I once asked to smell a kid’s breath after he came back from the bathroom telling me he had thrown up. Well…he had.

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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Teaching Tips



Author Picture

In an attempt to get a decent picture for the back of my book, me and the Mrs. recently did a little photo shoot. If you ever find yourself in need of  a top quality picture, I thought of a few things you may want to remember in order to look your best. Here are some of my suggestions:

1. Position hair in such a way to make yourself look less bald.

2. Make sure sideburns are even.

3. Check nose hair situation. (Depends on how close-up you want to get.)

4. Decide which half of your face looks better. (This was easy for me.)

5. Wait for enormous zit on the end of your nose to recede, if you have one. (No joke. It was affecting my vision.)

Hope this helps,

Mr. B

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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Verbal Judo

While I’ve never been formally trained in “Verbal Judo,” I do know how to use it. And…I’m not afraid to use it in my classroom. Whenever I am about to assign a task that I’m pretty certain the kids are not going to enjoy all that much, I start by saying, “Thanks in advance for not complaining on this one, kids.”

I also enjoy saying things like, “Please line up at the door in a way that’s going to keep me happy.” (Be careful on this one. Once I was tempted to say, “Please line up at the door in a way that won’t cause me to get angry.”  Then I remembered that there were probably some kids who would enjoy seeing me get upset.) If they fail to line up in a way that keeps me happy I usually resort to, “I’ll be happy to leave as soon as it’s quiet.”

Here’s a another recent quote after my class was noisily waiting to go to lunch: “I’m going to take the quiet people down to lunch right now. Noisy people go ahead and sit down, and I’ll come back to get you in a while. (Under my breath I muttered, “If I remember.”) Instant quiet.

If you have teenagers that want to borrow the car, you may want to try, “Thanks for driving my car with care and caution. I have no problem letting people borrow my stuff when I know they’re going to take good care of it.” (You may want to throw in a wink and a nod with the last sentence.)

Perhaps you’d like to try, “Your mom and I have decided to serve ice cream at 5:00 to all family members with clean rooms.”

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, Wouldn’t it be more fun to make a complete fool of myself by screaming and yelling? Well, it would definitely be more fun for some people, but not you.

Hope this helps,

Mr. B

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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Teaching Tips


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Manuscript Meets Editor

My manuscript is on its way to the editor.

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Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Uncategorized


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