“Cool” Factor

Ice to see you again, ClassRealm fans.

That’s right, I said it. But terrible Mr. Freeze puns aside, welcome back to the official ClassRealm Blog.

Today I’d like to discus a teacher topic that is near and dear to my heart – being “cool”. Now the reason “cool” is in quotes is because I’m speaking from a student’s perspective. If you run around telling people you’re cool, chances are you’re not. Or you’re the Fonz. But can being “cool” ruin a students view of you as an authority figure?

Recently I mentioned that my students thought I was “cool” to another teacher (on the web) and they retorted that being cool in a students eyes isn’t the way to go. In the other teachers opinion students can’t respect an adult who they think is a radical dude. Their yearning to goof around and get off topic around these types of adults is too strong.

I completely disagree. Many teachers find it strange that I talk to my students often about subjects like gaming and cartoons, but in my mind this connection is one of the best relationships a mentor can have with their pupil. The teacher who yells a lot and doesn’t get your jokes or the teacher who can talk in depth with you about what he built in Minecraft last night – which one are you more likely to really listen to? If students are invested in you as  teacher than everything you tell them is gold. They hang on your every word. They remember concepts because you made them fun and relatable. It’s ok to be a friend to a student. Not all the time, and not in the same way you would with a normal adult, but enough to show them that you understand their world and want to be a part of it.

So go forth teachers. Help those students who don’t think learning can relate to their life. Being “cool” may just be the key.


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