The world is a strange place indeed. One person’s morning pick-me-up is made of hot water filtered through finely ground, roasted (i.e. burnt) beans. Another person prefers hot water filtered through dried leaves. Still others crack open a can of carbon dioxide–infused water and corn syrup for their morning pick-me-up. I always smile when I hear the sound of a soda can opening in the office, thinking one of my fellow editors is enjoying a beer.
Looking out on a small inland sea of faces in your classroom and sensing an immediate need for a pick-me-up is a different story. You can’t brew a pot of coffee and trust that it will properly recharge your third graders. Some of them may prefer Earl Grey. But like a stand-up comedian dying on a small stage at a club in Sioux Falls on a Tuesday night, you know the problem is not your material, but the audience.
So what do you do? When your young audience isn’t responding to the material, you can ad lib, press on, and hope to catch lightning in a bottle or perhaps get a break and find a thread of excitement to weave into some new energy.
What’s your advice for recharging a classroom full of dead batteries? And if your answer is espresso, please note what grade you teach.