I thought about REC'ing this as a testimonial, but I'm having trouble remembering certain details, so I'd rather take my time and get it right.
I walked into my first sociology class of the college semester about five minutes late. Being that I'm a creature of punctuality and that I hate making bad first impressions, I was happy to find that the teacher was not yet there either.
I found a seat (one of only two left empty), and waited quietly with the rest of the class for our instructor to arrive. It seems I wasn't the only one who was off to a late start that day as another student soon clomped noisily into the room. He carelessly removed his backpack, which fell on the floor with a thud, and plopped down in the other empty seat.
The guy wore work boots with an unncessary amount of buckles, baggy jeans with no fewer than three chains attached to his belt, a black leather jacket (though it was inescapably hot out that day), and a red bandana.
People looked around at each other with empathetic glances that seemed to scream as loudly as this dude's cry for attention.
We paid him no further mind and kept on waiting for our teacher, until:
"What the fuck."
Here we go, thought everyone. We have one of those guys in our class...
"Does anyone know where the teacher is? I busted my ass to try and get here on time and he can't get his shit together?"
Really, dude? thought everyone. Just sit patiently like the rest of us and wait.
"This is bullshit."
He then snatched up his backpack and stalked back out of the room in a huff to drive home the point that this, in fact, was bullshit. Hell, maybe he was right. I, for one, was definitely annoyed by our instructor's growing absence.
No sooner had the giggles and the gossip commenced that the guy walked back into the room, threw his backpack on the teacher's desk, and began writing on the blackboard.
Hello, class. I'm your teacher, Andy.*
The tension lifted. A few students even clapped.
"Lesson one," Andy said with a smirk. "Not everything is what it seems."
* Unfortunately I don't remember his name, but Andy seems close. Maybe I can do some digging...
Sidenote: In a lesson about rebellion and upsetting the status quo, he turned us all on to Ali G/Borat/Bruno (before Sacha Baron Cohen really blew up). Really just a cool guy all around.
The first industrial technology class of the school year was supposed to have started fifteen minutes ago, but my classmates and I sat in awkward silence. The teacher, a goateed man in a white button-down shirt and tie, simply stared back at us from his desk with a smirk plastered across his face. Previous classes of middle school students had warned us that Mr. S wasn’t your average teacher.
In fact, Mr. S refused to call himself a teacher, but rather a “learning facilitator.” With a heavy emphasis on preparing students for the harsh realities of the “real world,” his teaching style was hardly to teach at all. He believed that students should take an active role in their learning, working as a team to solve problems.
On that first day, deciphering Mr. S’s expectations of us was our biggest problem. We realized that class wasn’t going to begin until we took initiative. Before class, Mr. S had written “printing press,” “photography,” and “computers” on the board with a numbered blank list under each word. Driven to courage by boredom, we decided to approach the board and write our names under one of those categories.
“What you signed up for is now your project and your team,” Mr. S finally spoke. “Now get to work.”
The class instantly complained. “How can we do this without any help?” one student asked.
But Mr. S remained a man of few words. “There are books on the shelf,” he replied.
We looked around the classroom, but no books or shelves were in sight. Just outside of the classroom, however, was an open room with a large metal cabinet that students who previously had Mr. S had...
I minored in art at Texas A&I University in Kingsville.
They now call it Texas A&M University at Kingsville, but it's not. It's Texas A&I.
My art professor, Dr. R, was also the head of the art department.
I was raised in small South Texas towns and had never really been anywhere.
Naive...I was naive.
Dr. R "took a liking" to me.
He was tough but fair with all the students.
For our final exam we had to produce 3 art projects.
My first project was a painting of my wife (yes, married at 19) in an old chair we bought at a garage sale.
It was entitled, "Girl in Pink Chair".
I painted it entirely with a palette knife...and it was pretty darn good.
My second project, "The Bird", was a bird made from my wife's hair rollers, combs, hair clips, etc...which I had assembled the night before, using Elmer's glue. It was pretty darn awful.
My last project was my first wood carving.
I carved it out of a mesquite limb, about the hardest wood known to man (insert your own joke here).
It was entitled "The Victor".
I still have this carving. It's pretty darn good.
On the day of "finals" everyone brought their 3 projects to class.
I also brought 2 dozen fresh donuts.
When Dr. R walked into class, he pointed to the donuts and said, "Are these one of your art projects?"
He caught me off guard, which he was very good at doing to his students.
"No," I answered. (I was also very shy and quiet.)
"Too bad," he said..."if you'd have said 'yes', I would've given you an A in the class."
He went on to critique my 3 works of art first.
1. Loved the wood carving. "Never seen anyone carve eyes like you. Very...
EVERYONE: Share your stories and examples of unique teaching methods you've experienced.