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‘Crack the Eggs of Wisdom’

August 5, 2011

Here’s a little gem of a conversation I’d like to share:

I was talking to a friend of mine about our ideal classrooms and he told me he’d been preparing quirky catchphrases for certain situations – something to signify something important or novel was about to occur. The phrase he came up with: ‘Hold on a sec kids… I’m about to crack some eggs of wisdom’.

There’s more to this than the peculiarity and hilarity. He predicted the following scenario would unfold: he would drop this phrase a few times to chuckles and smiles. However, this will create a bond between him and his students that is unique to their classroom – no other teacher ‘cracks the eggs of wisdom’ with them. After a while, students will start using the term sarcastically with each other. It will become an inside joke among him and all of his students – something connecting and uniting the entire class. This is no longer just another class – this is another class where we crack the eggs of wisdom.

I thought about this and made a connection: another friend experienced great success with minor classroom management issues by implementing an additional class rule: ‘Keep it Classy’. Whenever students were having an inappropriate conversation or cursing, they were told to ‘Keep it Classy’. It was always used light-heartedly, but students somehow submitted. After a while, they started saying it to each other – a bit sarcastically, but they were using it never the less. Soon the class was ‘policing’ themselves in a light-hearted manner, smiling the whole time. He is now affectionately remembered as the ‘Keep it Classy’ teacher, and his management issues were greatly reduced after the induction of this rule.

This has made me think about the vocabulary I use with my students. What’s a phrase I would like to introduce to create a bond with the classroom? To create something lighthearted and lift the mood? To further this idea of a classroom community? Something that the students can eventually take ownership of and begin using themselves? I’ve been thinking of stealing their ideas – possibly one for discipline or a class rule, or one to mark important information that these students should remember and pay very close attention to.

You’ve just been served a wisdom omelet.


From → Classroom Theory

One Comment
  1. I have enjoyed your posts – they are great reminders of my first year…way back when. A colleaugue from my first teaching assignment used the phrase “cloud of kindness” – for students to be polite/respectful and encouraging to others in the classroom…I use it today in my classroom – telling students to leave their issues outside the door when they enter Room 148 ’cause we’re all in this together.

    “Different Word Please” – for inappropriate language/comments is made. My standard is “Shut-Up”, I don’t use this phrase, I expect my students not to use it/anything worse or they will get “Different Word Please” – like you stated, I only have to do it a few weeks and the students take over. It just causes students to stop and think about what they’re true intentions are with their words.

    Students often use it jokingly – however, in a graduation address this spring, a former student shared lessons he had learned throughout high school. We all laughed as he whispered “Shut-Up” and poked fun with DWP, but he went on to say the lesson he learned was that our words really do have meaning…what we say or even how we say them can help/hurt and we always should consider our words carefully before we speak them.

    Looking forward to reading of all your 1st year adventures. I appreciate your intentional choices for your classroom – always keep student learning at the center of it all and you will exceed your own expectations!


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