Today I did the How I Met Your Mother hot/crazy scale lesson, which was strange this year. The past two years I did my statistics unit in October/November, so this lesson fell pretty early in the year. So I had a lot of fun because I was able to play with students’ expectations by using the androgynous names, the fact that the year is still new and they don’t know me as well and as less blatant about asking things, made for an overall enjoyable experience.
It’s funny because I don’t come out with intention every year, but it can sorta happen at times. I feel like this year my students still don’t really know across the board. And if they don’t know about me yet, they definitely don’t know about the other 3 gay male teachers. [4 out of 11 male faculty members seems like a lot. (The joke is that my old principal only hired either attractive young female teachers or male teachers that weren’t competition for the ladies’ attention.)] So I’m wondering if I played the game too well this year.
When I think about last year, there’s three moments that stood out. First was this lesson, which could plant suspicions but nothing confirmed. Then in December I did a lesson about the definition of a function. At one point, I ask for examples of functions that would map from the domain of people. Things like age and weight are examples, whereas race and hair color do not, since you can be more than one race or have more than one hair color. Then they say eye color, and I say it’s not, because someone could have two differently colored eyes. “In fact, my boyfriend has two differently colored eyes – one brown and one blue.” But if no one says eye color, it might not come up. And sometimes students jump in and mention that fact themselves. The third moment is when a student asked me who my Valentine was, with my response of “my boyfriend.”
For the current seniors and juniors, I feel like word spread quickly. The current sophomores a little more slowly, but by Feb 14 everyone knew. But this year it’s been somehow different. Partly it is due to the Common Core. I moved function definitions to the very beginning of the year, and so, I don’t know why, I said “I know somebody who has two different colored eyes” instead of specifying. Maybe I thought it was too early in the year? But then this lesson shifted later, so those two natural moments didn’t occur.
I mean, this didn’t stop individual students for talking about it. Most of my lunch gang knew because we’ve just had many more conversations and it came up. But my answer to “Do you have a wife/girlfriend?” Is always no, and the conversation often ends there. I won’t push it if they don’t, because we have math to do.
But because it wasn’t across the board acknowledged, somehow today was weirder. Maybe I’ll address it tomorrow.
This was longer than I thought – leave it to #MTBoS30 to make me ramble. I’m not sure what the thesis of this post was, other than “This can be surprisingly difficult to navigate, even if you aren’t trying to make it difficult or trying to navigate it at all.”