Six completely useless things students often do very well

Twirling a pen between your thumb and fingers is a skill acquired sitting through hours of boring lessons...

As many readers know, I’ve been out of the classroom for a few months now. But there are some things you never forget, and among those are some of the useless things students do in class. Each of the following six things are skills, I’m convinced, that are honed over several years of sitting in boring classes (not mine, of course not my classes). Not necessarily the skills we want them to develop in English class but skills nevertheless. Here they are.

1 Twirling a pen between two forefingers and a thumb.

2 Leaning back on a chair just far enough to avoid falling over.

3 Drawing moustaches, devil’s horns and penises on photos in a book.

4 Opening the book to the wrong page every class.

5 Balancing a pen between the upper lip and nose.

6 Clicking pens quickly and noisily..

I seem to remember coming across a similar list in a book I used to have called Essential Lists for Teachers by Duncan Grey. I wish I could find it again. In the meantime, are there any other utterly useless things that your students are very good at doing? Useless mind, not just naughty. Sending text messages or passing notes secretly is a skill, but you could argue it’s more useful than the ones I posted above. Anyway, if you want to add then please post a comment.

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 7:29 am  Comments (31)  
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