Monday, May 7, 2012
At some point, it happens to all of us. At the Chronicle of Higher Education, Eliana Osborn offers her advice. Here’s one of the comments following the article:
I have a lot of stories that I can tell, to zip up class interest. Sometimes I tell half a joke, then move on, and wait to see if someone'll ask about the rest. Anything about sex or toilet paper always perks students up. Or a relevant, or even irrelevant, celebrity anecdote. This works for me because I have a very good memory for stories and am rather jocular anyway. But a lot depends on your in-class persona. I agree that long classes do require a lot of changes in activities. Some other possibilities: going around the room and having everyone comment ("everyone name a color"). Or ask everyone born between January and April to comment. Or--whatever. The point is to shake up the expected order. You can often do that by getting students to participate in a non-threatening way: "Suppose I wanted to tell a story about a dentist. What would be a good first name for a dentist character?"