“The following things are guaranteed to bring any lesson to a grinding halt… Spiders, Fire Alarms, Bees, Wall Maps (falling of said wall maps), Snow, Lightning, and Power Outages.”
While Mr. Done might have been making this list in reference to 3rd graders, I assure you it works the same for seniors in high school. There are certain things that when they occur or appear are guaranteed to stop all teaching. When said things occur, god help you try and get things back on track. Some days you just have to give up and change the lesson plan. Some days everybody takes their minute and then we can get back on track. But they are guaranteed to disrupt the class and waste a few minutes.
I agree with his list, but I would like to add a few of my own proven class stoppers. I have also included a few directions to help deal with the occurrence and get the class refocused.
- Sneezes — No matter what it sounds like, someone will feel the need to comment on the sneeze. Say “bless you,” pause for the comment, and then continue like nothing happened.
- Farts — First of all, we have a rule and the perpetrator did not follow said rule. Second, even to high school boys, farting is hilarious. Third, the girls are disgusted by the farting. Fourth, it will take at least five minutes to regain control. Deal with it.
- Intercom — The office has this bad tendency of hitting the intercom button, but not actually saying anything. So everyone stops what they’re doing, then waits. Nothing happens. After about a minute, we go back to whatever we were doing. Thankfully this interruption is short and fairly easy to recover from.
- Someone walking by the window — My classroom is outside and anyone who walks by the window, we always have to stop, turn, and make a comment about who it is. Thankfully, they took out the cheese grater (raised platform between classrooms), so now my classroom is three feet off the ground. Unless people are walking the ramp or my staircase, we don’t see them. But in case this happens to you, pause, let someone make the comment about who walked by, and then resume teaching like nothing happened.
- Falling out of a chair — Pause for laughter, check to see if said student is unhurt, resume teaching.
Follow these simple directions and hopefully any interruption will be quick and easy to recover from.