Embracing Eccentricity

I’m an eccentric person. It’s taken a bit for me to recognise this about myself, but it has become something I am now comfortable with. It has not, however, been a big part of my teaching. To be honest I’ve probably tried to keep the crazy to a minimum, partly for concern that students will go silly themselves, partly as a lingering uncertainty about how students would take it.

But these past few days, my guard has been down. I’ve been battling to get along to school with a nasty cold and probably should have had yesterday off bar the fact that I really needed to see a few kids to make sure their interim report had them up to date if possible. As a result, the filter that would normally stop the stupid, dorky things coming out of my mouth was turned off. For example:

  • I apologised for almost sending my Strepsil sailing across the room.
  • I remarked that having taken a cold and flu tablet I was feeling a bit dopey today, to which a girl remarked under her breath “just today”. I almost wet myself.
  • Caught myself raving about how wonderful my wife is on more than three separate occasions in the one day.
  • Started singing a student’s name to the tune of the Blues Brothers theme when just calling his name couldn’t get his attention.

The scary part was, it worked. I keep forgetting that when I let students know that I’m a person, and see that I’m a person, they’re able to connect with that. And sure I’ll get the looks that have my students wondering about the sanity/stability of their IT teacher, but who cares?

Plus I know which teachers I remember: the craziest ones.

10 thoughts on “Embracing Eccentricity

  1. Oh Geoff, your ‘crazy’ seems like my ‘normal’! I guess an Art and Design teacher can always get away with a bit more ‘crazy’ than the rest. As for singing, my rendition of Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ has become a staple of Friday lessons….

    1. Crazy is pretty much a requirement for art teachers isn’t it?

      Don’t know I could look myself in the mirror if “Friday” became a regular part of my lessons.

  2. Well I guess you have my secret now.. but my crazy gets way out of controll… like laughing at my own sweat patches the size of small dinner plates by repeating out load the anchorman quote – although altered “Grey was a bad choice”, proceeding to lean over with legs crossed for fear of wetting myself… hmmmm a whole lotta crazy. Love it Geoff!!

  3. You are right you know! Students love some eccentricity in teachers – it makes them near normal in their ‘eyes’! I laughed when I read this post, but I do hope that you are now feeling better. I would like to also thank you for your suggestion on my Rules for Blogging post. I love your idea of blogging being communal. That is one of the reasons that I always use to stress the importance of blogging. Although I had added a small piece on the commenting I shall go back and add a more noticeable one. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog post.

  4. I love that teachers are eccentric! Embrace it! I love that we’re in a profession where we can truly be ourselves, and the more you are yourself, the better you are as a teacher. Plus I think being quirky is awesome. I had to hide that in my last job and it made me sad 🙁

    BTW, hello, I am from cohort 2!

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