Witty banter, velociraptors, and classroom management

Every class has its own personality.    There are happy classes, lazy classes, hostile classes, and clever classes.    And a class’ personality will give you keys to how best to approach them.    I think my favorite personality for a class is a playful/clever class… like I have this quarter.   This of course presents it’s own challenges.

The difficulty of “clever” is that that witty banter can be a distraction for the class, as well as being a way for some students to try to deflect questions.     Of course, I have a long history of engaging with witty banter, as well as having adopted the persona of a diabolical math teacher early on.   So when they start joking about quitting early, I just laugh maniacally and ask them a harder question.   They cringe for a moment, then they start asking smart questions.

In the odd but true category:  when I was young, I had two potential career dreams.   Either a research astronomer, or a stand up comedian.   Now I guess I could say that I’m a stand up mathematician.

This quarter, I’m teaching with velociraptors and large amounts of witty banter.   Thank you, XKCD.

In other news, I wandered by one of my fellow math instructors grading to “Gangstas’ Paradise”.

I love my job.

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