How Can Sunglasses Make You a Better Teacher?

30 Jul

Sunglasses can actually help you become a better teacher, and it really has nothing to do with looking cool. It’s all about using them to help kids learn. I got this idea from CSI: Miami. (I’ve never really seen the show, but every time I’ve seen a preview for it, David Caruso is doing something with his sunglasses.)

The most important part of using sunglasses in your classroom is the brief pause right before sliding on your sunglasses while the important or significant material is stated. For example, let’s pretend you’re trying to teach your class how to add or subtract fractions. You say, “Class, whenever you add or subtract fractions it’s very important that you have…” (Wait for it…Wait for it. Slowly put on the sunglasses) “…common denominators.”

Let’s try another example. Perhaps your class is getting a little rambunctious while you’re teaching. This is a perfect time to pull out the Ray-Bans. This is how it might have sounded in my room: “Boys and girls, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but I’m trying to teach up here. There appears to be a lot of monkey business going on right now, and quite frankly, I’m finding it very difficult to do my job well. Now…(get your sunglasses ready) I just want you all to know something. When I get frustrated, I don’t always make the best decisions. As a matter of fact, sometimes I say and do things that I later wish I hadn’t. So you need to decide right now…(Start bringing the sunglasses up towards your face)…what kind of a teacher do you want? Do you want a happy teacher? Or do you want …(put sunglasses on) a crabby teacher?”

After a while your class will be conditioned to know that important details are coming whenever you pause to slide on your shades.

P.S. Telling your class that you sometimes say or do things that you later regret is optional.

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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Teaching Tips


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