November 20, 2008

Are There Any Doctors On Board?

Who influences your teaching style? Today the answer surprised me.

We were talking about tax-sheltered retirement accounts in my Investments class today, and I was demonstrating the benefits of pre-tax accounts on the board.

Me: So, let's say your paycheck is $1000, and the government takes 20% of it in taxes (humor me here). What's 20% of 1000?
(wait a couple of seconds).
Me: Somebody say 200.
Student: 200

My face turned into a smile as I remembered one of my old deadpan math teachers who would do this all the time. Ask the class a question, give us the answer, and then politely ask that someone say the answer. This teacher's humor was even dryer and more deadpan than Leslie Nielson in Airplane!, the best movie ever made:

Stewardess, I think the man next to me is a doctor.

I noticed a dorky smirk on one of the kids in the front row whose sense of humor is apparently as dry as mine.

What's interesting is that I only remembered where I got this idea from AFTER I had already done it! What other habits, good or bad, am I getting from my old teachers? Who influences your teaching style? A lot of what goes into it, I think, isn't even necessarily on a conscious level.

No comments: