Oct 23, 2005

practical exercise for light English teaching

Even an easy day in the English classroom is no picnic. Teachers run the risk of cramps, muscle tears, broken bones, lost voices, fatigue, ulcers, bladder strain, bruised egos, and more. The following are a few simple exercises you, as a teacher, can perform to keep your body fit and your mind sane.

The Paper Shuffle
Place stacks of exams on desks closest to the edges of your classroom. At a sprint, race them to your desk, sit for a few seconds "grading" them, and then race them back to the corners. Repeat this until winded--usually two or three minutes.

The Home Stretch
Before leaving for school--or at school, if you, like me, live there--use this stretching exercise. First, get up, make and drink your pot of coffee. This will warm up your muscles. Next, grab hold of the refrigerator door and stretch as far into the kitchen as you can, other arm extended, as if you are coralling one student without losing your grip on another. If the door opens (i.e., you lost your grip), close it and try again. Five minutes ought to suffice.

The Bladder Buster
Expand your tiny bladder by drinking copious amounts of Pepsi, Coke, or, on your budget, a generic equivalent. Drink and drink and drink and hold it until it hurts. Try to grade essays during this time; you'll find yourself completing them far more quickly than usual. (Warning: kidney stones are no laughing matter.)

The Shouting Match
Turn the radio to Rush Limbaugh (or some other pompous windbag). Each time Rush says something stupid, offer a counterargument in a clear, strong voice, and then turn up the volume by a notch. By the time five minutes have passed, you should be shouting loud enough to wake the dead. Sleeping students will never have a chance in your class.

The Runaround
Start at your classroom. Run to the copy room to make a last-minute transparency. Run back to your room (you forgot a blank transparency). Run back to the copy room. Wait five minutes (now there's a line). Wait five minutes more (now the machine is jammed). Finally make the copy. Run back to your classroom. Test overhead. Run to Audio-Visual room (bulb is burnt out). Run back to classroom. Insert new bulb. Teach.

[I forgot to add the all important designation, forty-first in a series]


TheTachyix said...

Is there any potential for "The Desk Placement Shuffle"?

Blogging Ref said...


How might I avoid dangerous paper cuts? How might I avoid unseemly overhead ink on my thumbs?

Jim said...


"The Desk Swap" should be attempted only after rigorous warmups. Lift with your legs, not with your back. A penny saved is a penny earned. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

blogging ref,

"The Paper Tiger" should take care of the wicked slices. It is an origami method that develops dexterity and nimbleness of digits.

As for the ink-stained finger, is it not the very badge of literary honor? Wear it proudly!

Tidy Bowl said...

You forgot one thing...
(and I only say this as a brand-new elementary school teacher)
The "Sit Down and Shut Up"
Stand in front of an empty desk. Point your index finger at the desk. Repeat, as many times as necessary, "Sit down! No, I said sit down! Sit down! SIT DOWN!" Wave index finger as much as necessary.