Making Teaching Real: What If Teachers Failed a Little More?



What have WWE wrestling, Don Quixote, a Jimmy Fallon Saturday Night skit and Fleetwood Mac got in common that could perhaps be of use to teachers?


They all involve little 'reality slips': times when they allow real life to intrude into the fiction.

These thoughts come from a RadioLab episode I listened to recently, titled 'The Montreal Screwjob'. Whether it's The Heartbreak Kid vs Shaun Michaels, Lindsey Buckingham singing 'Go Insane' or Jimmy Fallon giggling during a skit, as an audience, we're always intrigued when a little bit of reality slips into our fiction.

My thoughts then, are these: What if we let a little bit of reality slip into our teaching? What if we failed to keep a straight face or showed a bit of weakness now and then in our classrooms? What if we were not afraid to be human and to fail a little when teaching? What if we didn't keep a straight face, let our emotional stance on the issue we're teaching show, or even make plain our shortcomings?

A large measure of teaching is acting, and a lot of what we do takes place on an artificially constructed little stage. Wouldn't our students find this world more intriguing if they got to see it for what it is now and then? Would they not learn to see through and beyond the process a little more, and begin to question it more often? Perhaps a glimpse behind the scenes would allow them to be more enthralled by it? Perhaps they would be even be more willing participants in it?





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