How to Agitate Your Students

As a teacher, do you ever swear that your students dream up elaborate ways to agitate you?  It’s like they know just how to push your buttons.  They know that if they ask something that is blatantly written on the syllabus that they can see you start to fall apart at the seams.  Well, for all those times that my students have done that to me this semester, I got them back.  And, I didn’t even have to try.  Well, not really.

Yesterday, was the last official day of class for my tuesday/thursday students.  Next Tuesday they will assemble to take their final exam and then they will be free of my class–forever.  Since it was one of the final days of class my campus was holding an end of the year celebration.  Because we were having a celebration, they allowed us to wear jeans.  (Little did they know that I was sort of planning on wearing jeans, regardless.)

This is what I wore: a t-shirt, jeans, and converse.

Indian’s t-shirt: Wal-Mart. Red tanktop: Old Navy. Jeans: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Red earrings: unknown. Sunglasses: Wal-Mart. Converse: unknown.

When my students walked into the room they looked at me like I was an alien.  I had completely thrown them for a loop.  Apparently, it had never occurred to them that I am a regular person and wear “regular clothes.”  I think that they had this idea that my teaching clothes are like armor and that I am always wearing them.  Comments ranged from “Why are you wearing that?”  to “Wow. I thought you were uptight, but now I see that you aren’t.”  It was very amusing.  Now, keep in mind that they were all dressed up as a requirement for their final speech.  So, I was sitting cool as a cucumber in jeans and a t-shirt while some of the guys were wearing suits, and the ladies were in dresses and nylons.

It was amazing to me how bothered they were by seeing me in everyday clothes.  It opened an interesting discussion, that I related back to class, about dressing for the occasion and how your personal appearance can add or subtract from your credibility.

How about you– do you have any ways that you get back at your students for the grief that they put you through during the semester?


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