Do Now: FML. It’s still 5 days until Spring Break, and you just can’t wait for that mojito on the beach. You can hear the Beach Boys already, the sway of palm trees against the warm breeze, the steady roll of the waves. You want nothing more than a beach towel and an excuse to not have excuses. It’s paradise, in its most unadulterated form.
There’s just one problem. You’re still in the suck.
There’s no beaches in the South Bronx, and the closest thing to a mojito you’re going to be sipping is black coffee from the bodega across from your school. Beach Boys? Not if Jay-Z is readily available. That swaying of palm trees is actually the sound of gypsy cabs zooming by, waiting to rip you right off. Oh, and that beach towel isn’t for the beach; it’s to wipe off the nasty shit you got on your pants riding on the 6 this morning. And the only excuses you’ll be hearing are from your students, in regards to why they didn’t do their homework.
Spring break, my friends, is close, but oh so far away.
Do Now: Be creative, but also be subtle. Remember, any fool can lather their students with T-Pain or Lil Wayne lyrics, but that just seems like pandering in the end, and nobody wants that. The trick to any lyricist is to insinuate identity through a weaving of ideas and verse. Joan Baez would have made a bad-ass teacher, and Bob Dylan should teach 1st year teachers the art of persuasion through lyrics. And what would lesson number 1 be? Simple: the lyrics should match the theme of your lesson or message, lest it be obscured by the greater stimuli of the classroom. For example, when you hear students talking about being a few points shy of passing, offer some Rascal Flatts:
What hurts the most
Was being so close
And having so much to say
And watching you walk away
And never knowing
What could have been
And not seeing that loving you
Is what I was tryin’ to do
If they give you a sour face, it’s because of one of two things: either (1) they don’t recognize the song or (2) they recognize the song, and they’re not impressed. Either way, it couldn’t hurt to add another “Is what I was tryin’ to dooooooo,” just for effect.