Sh*t my brain says and forgets about

Tag: teaching

It’s Funny What Kids Will Remember

Back in the mid 1980s there was a kids’ TV Game Show called “Double Dare” on the Nickelodeon channel. We didn’t have cable TV but at some point it started to air on regular television. Our local TV station even aired an episode early in the morning before school at 6:30am.


The show format was fairly simple. One part were standard panel-type questions with answers gaining you points. Sometimes your team would have to perform “physical challenges” which usually involved something messy – like digging through a small pool of pizza sauce looking for a flag. The team with the most points at the end got to go through an obstacle course for sixty seconds. Collecting flags throughout the course got you more money and prizes to take home.

Everyone who watched the show did it for that sixty glorious seconds of slime, goo, and gunk.

There’s one specific morning I remember watching Double Dare. My dad would usually leave work right around when the episode would finish up. He was always hurried, barely time to say goodbye before his most times lengthy commute to a job site for his systems technician job with Honeywell. I knew the challenge was only a minute long and I really loved the show. I asked my dad that morning to sit and watch the obstacle course since it was so much fun and it would be a good start for him. He initially said no and I remember being incredibly disappointed.

Being the smart kid I was I reinforced my plea with the fact it was only sixty seconds and it would be worth it. Something clicked in his head and he agreed and sat down to watch. I was so excited to share this awesome experience with him. I don’t remember his reaction to the show but I do clearly remember him taking the time to sit down and watch it. It meant a lot to me even if, at the time, it wasn’t something he really wanted to do.

Actions, especially with kids, have a lasting impression and who knows what the triggers are for those actions to stick in their heads. Moments like this have happened for me well beyond childhood. So this is just a reminder to myself to look for those small moments that could have a big impact on someone’s life.

And now here’s one of the show’s ending obstacle courses. It takes less than sixty seconds to watch. 🙂

Teachers, Students, Learning

Sometimes the hardest part of being a teacher is figuring out what your students DON’T know. It’s relatively easy to teach a subject to an entire group when you’re following a prescribed curriculum. The problem comes when the teacher doesn’t realize everyone is learning at a different rate or figuring out what some students may already know. Maybe the needed skill is empathy – knowing when students are lost/misdirected – and to foster less resistance to ask questions.

Students also have to realize that sometimes teachers don’t know absolutely everything. Just because they’re not understanding something doesn’t mean they’re stupid – the teacher may have simply missed some details you’re not aware of.

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