Teachers comment on memorable quotes

Read about the reasoning behind memorable sayings from teachers Matt Christensen, Kyle Farrington and Bill Smithyman.

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 farrington“There are people here

who are smarter than me,

but that won’t stop me

from teaching the snot out

of them.” – Kyle Farrington

Why are you willing to admit that your students are intellectually superior to you?

We have so many talented kids [at BVNW]… I’m not talking about strictly IQ but also background information from all the other AP classes… math geniuses – those kinds of things. However, I think kids sometimes forget that there is a teacher in front of the room who has a lot more content knowledge typically than they do. Even if a kid is incredibly smart, and there are always [kids] in your AP classes, as a teacher, there are always going to be kids in there that are smarter than you, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn a lot.

How do kids usually react to these sayings of yours?

They giggle but they understand what I’m getting at. My dry sense of humor is just funny. Half of the time, kids will think it’s funny, and half the time, they don’t because they think I’m old and out of touch…. I am old and pretty out of touch, but at least I know what a hashtag is.


Christensen“My education is my


– Matt Christensen

When did you first encounter this saying?

The phrase is not mine. The phrase came from my math teacher who had it in her room when I was a student who was struggling in school.

What purpose do you believe this phrase serves?

It’s very easy sometimes for a student who struggles to find excuses [for] why you struggle. Oftentimes, they’ll blame it on the teacher, the assignment, or what’s going on outside of the day and the activity. You’ll really feel like someone else didn’t do their job. By doing that, you skew your responsibility in the deal. Everyone’s got a lot of excuses, but when you walk through that door, all you need to remember is that your education is your responsibility, and that I’ll do the rest. You keep learning, keep doing what you can outside of here and I’ll keep doing my thing.


Smithyman“Planner time” song

– Bill Smithyman

What is the planner time song?

It was a little bit of a joke and an attempt to do something different. If you think like a teacher, a teacher gives one direction six times before something starts happening. Listen to how many times a teacher repeats him or herself. Sometimes there’s just directions that students don’t want to listen to. They’d rather sit and talk and text until the screaming happens. For me, planner time was a way for me to not yell or repeat something five times.

Why do you implement it during class time?

If you look at elementary schools, they have a song for everything. Think about it from a third grader’s perspective. When your teacher starts singing, every other third grader starts singing, stops what they’re doing, and answers. You only have to watch a kindergarten teacher once to realize how effective communication must be in order to connect with a full class of kindergarteners. I don’t think it changes in high school. If you think about it, kindergarteners are eager to do whatever their teacher wants. They don’t know any better, they love their teachers and school is fun. In high school, high school students are just as unlikely to listen and don’t want to. That call and response, just like singing the planner time song, it speeds things up, and oddly enough, kids don’t mind it, they sing along, planners come out, and it… allows me to quickly review what is upcoming in the week.