The Reflection Pool

Best April Fools!

Yesterday, on April 1st, I visited a secondary school to talk with the principal and vice principals about their work and school improvement. Classroom visits are always part of the agenda since I love to see what is going on, meet educators and talk with students about their work.Westdale

When I arrived, the principal suggested we begin with class visits right away and I eagerly agreed. Up we went to a grade 11 History class. Two classes were combined with two excellent and well-respected teachers. What I observed: a learning goal on the chalkboard that read “We are learning how to copy notes.”; young people copying those notes from a screen with the teacher telling them to be sure to underline in red ink; the other teacher walking around giving feedback on post it notes to students on their note copying skills; students told to sit quiet and listen because no questions were allowed; homework in the form of a wordsearch and a crossword (the crossword was “differentiated” – you could do it in pen or pencil).

I thought, “What is going on here? These are the teachers I’ve heard so much about?” I was bewildered and wondered how to broach this topic with admin. Maybe I was missing something?

The principal interrupted my thoughts, “Ms. Dunlop, I can’t let this go on…April Fools!” The class and teachers burst into laughter.  Yes, it turns out it was all staged. The teachers shared how they barely kept a straight face while I was standing there watching. Students were happy that they had fooled the superintendent. And they totally did. It was fantastic.

They got me!

Thank goodness. I never want to see that stuff in a classroom again.

Photo Credit: mattymatt via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: mattymatt via Compfight cc

4 thoughts on “Best April Fools!

  1. What an awesome prank, Sue! I wonder though if this is the reality in some classrooms. As somebody that struggles with this kind of set-up, I wonder about the thinking behind this “quiet, note copying kind of learning environment.” Why do teachers choose this option? I’d be curious to hear their thinking. I’d love to know the impact that they see on kids.

    Looking forward to your daily posts! You’re going to trump me on blogging this month for sure! 🙂
    Aviva

      1. I wonder why people continue in this way. I’d be curious to know what impact the teachers think this has on kids.

        Aviva

  2. I loved reading this prank! Yet….how many classrooms are truly like this. I think some students need help with organization and may need some direct instruction. Hopefully this will appear less and less in classrooms.
    I have never thought about pranking the Super-ideas are brewing;)

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