Creative teacher contribution to students' day
September 22, 2011 5:43 PM   Subscribe

For students' day at a middle/high school, each department of teachers has been asked to submit or perform something. I could use some help thinking of something that will entertain the students while keeping it appropriate for the age level.

The students usually put on the show themselves by recording skits, pranks, live competitions, etc... Its usually a very funny event yet this time they are asking teachers to contribute content. It would be great if we could come up with something that students would either be really impressed by or find really funny. (Recorded or live)

The catch is of course maintaining a certain level of professionalism (not causing the teachers too much embarrassment or giving students a bad impression of the teachers), doing something students will find funny or impressive (i.e. acting out a play is probably not going to be enough for this type of event unless it is really creative or hilarious), and keeping it fairly nice (it's probably too risky to chance offending a student so things like making impressions of students or classes are out).

Would anybody out there have any ideas? We have up to probably 10 people who could participate, though some may opt out depending on what the event is. Not everybody would have to participate. I've considered baby photos, real talents (though I don't know that many of us have a good one), trying to find a really funny skit...

Many of us would probably be willing to do some over the top stuff if we were sure it'd be a hit...
posted by nzydarkxj to Education (13 answers total)
Please don't be annoyed because I don't have a good answer for your question because (as a teacher, a parent and as a former snot-nose middle school kid) this is a spectacularly bad idea.

There are so many ways this can go wrong; ways in which you will perceived as ridiculous or foolish or less respectable or less professional by peers, parents and the kids.

I just cannot see this having a positive ending. Bad, bad idea.
posted by kinetic at 6:01 PM on September 22, 2011

Many, many years ago at my K-12 school, a skit competition used to be part of our field day activities. (They got rid of it when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, I think.) I remember one of them being really, really funny, and it's stuck with me ever since then. This one was performed by students, but it could easily be done by faculty.

The whole thing was a big setup to mock an obnoxious school rule (for us it was dress code, but it could also be something like walking on the grass), so you should tweak your story as you see fit. Just make sure it's something really trivial.

One kid played the principal, then the rest of the kids played students and teachers. One by one, teachers would drag students into the principal's office for violating some (serious) school rule.

One was a group of kids who got in a fight. Obviously that's bad, but the principal dismissed it with a "meh, kids will be kids."

Another was a kid caught cheating on a test. The teacher dragged him in, said he was cheating, and the principal replied, "you don't have any proof." The teacher then asked the kid to remove his jacket, and you could see that he had written chemistry equations (in comically huge letters) all over his arms. Principal doesn't care.

(Continue with more students getting dragged into the principal's office with varying degrees of serious crimes so that everyone who has to participate can play a role. (Since you have fewer people, the "students" can come in on their own without being accompanied by a teacher.) Each time, the offense gets dismissed by the principal.)

Finally, a student is brought in with--oh horror of horrors--AN UN-TUCKED SHIRT. The principal goes nuts, threatens all sorts of horrible punishments, and expels the disheveled student.

Aaaand, curtain.

Simple, doesn't require a whole lot of practice or writing, funny, and it shows you can laugh at yourselves.
posted by phunniemee at 6:02 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I like your idea of showing baby pictures. Since it's Middle/High School you could show your 7th grade picture and your Senior pictures too. Show the baby picture first, then Middle School, then Senior, then finish with their most recent faculty picture. Encourage the kids to shout out who they think it is from the beginning and that'd add an extra layer of fun.

It would be fun for the kids to see how you've changed, the different retro styles, and it would only be mildly embarrassing for the teachers which the kids will love.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:09 PM on September 22, 2011

Look up some of the "Minute to Win It" games and get some teachers to play. Kills every time! This was the boffo hit of our company party.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:35 PM on September 22, 2011

Response by poster: kinetic- i understand how this has the potential to go wrong. Thats exactly the reason I'm asking for ideas of how we can do it "right" without being incredibly boring or declining to participate. The event will happen either way, and refusing to participate probably wouldn't be the spirit they're hoping for.

phunniemee - interesting. I could see how that could be funny. the untucked shirt or even failure to shave would be pretty funny ones for us as well.
posted by nzydarkxj at 6:36 PM on September 22, 2011

In that case, maybe a completely over the top song and dance number, preferably featuring a classic ABBA song and feather boas.

In other words, make it clear that you're in on the ridiculousness of it all aspect.

But the middle school level...I wouldn't do it.
posted by kinetic at 6:41 PM on September 22, 2011

Our HS did something similar to phunniemee's suggestion - mocking the dress code using teachers wearing inappropriate items of clothing (usually over appropriate clothing).

We also just had the teacher named "Teacher of the Quarter" for the whole school district on a student-produced segment, where she did an elaborate pantomime and danced ridiculously.

Some of our teachers also played "Friday" (yes, THAT Friday) live (as a teacher/student band) at the student talent show last spring.

Basically, what you do and if you do it all depends on school community. The school I was at previous to this one had a teacher "rock" band that the students mercilessly mocked. But that was a hateful, hateful place and my school now is practically shitting rainbows it's so awesome. If you have a healthy school community where risk-taking is acceptable and failure/making a mistake is part of what you do, then you can do almost anything.

I'll keep thinking too.
posted by guster4lovers at 6:44 PM on September 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

I loved this stuff as a kid (well, until I was too cool for it anymore which was probably around 16 or so). My school did this every year and I never saw any backlash.

I think I remember that impersonations of pop culture stuff was funny. (It was boy bands and cheesy country music and r&b divas back then).

I also really like the idea of playing the childhood picture guessing game as described above. Audience participation works really well for these things.

I'll keep thinking about it, too.
posted by dchrssyr at 7:19 PM on September 22, 2011

Check out Youtube for skit and dance inspiration: search "Faculty Follies".

A few ideas that come to mind:
Something that involves outlandish Lady Gaga-ish outfits.
I think it'd be hilarious for a male teacher to (pretend to) croon and dance like
The Beibs.
What about a Glee send-up?
posted by GatorX3 at 9:16 PM on September 22, 2011

Best answer: This isn't education-related at all, but at our recent school musical, my 10 year old sons class did "Hollywood in 10 Seconds". Maybe 20 short skits of ultra-famous movie scenes. And they absolutely slayed the audience (parents and kids of all ages).

Darth Vader confessed he is Luke's father... and then gives Luke a sponge saying that Luke has to wash the spaceship thingy (sorry, I'm not a Star Wars fan) or he won't get his allowance. Rocky 1 yelled "Adrienne" then ran offstage throwing punches, came back on a little slower as Rocky 2, yelled Adrienne a little quieter, rinse and repeat until Rocky 6 when he comes back on stage in a wheelchair. I didn't think the kids would get that one, but they did.

They also did Who's On First which the kids in the audience loved.

They spoofed Titanic (Jack and Rose declared their undying love, Jack jumped in the fake water and complained it was cold, Rose sniffed and said "I didn't MAKE you jump... I'll be in the lifeboat if you want me" then Dory from Finding Nemo 'swam' past singing "just keep swimming, just keep swimming", A Few Good Men (naughty schoolkid in trouble, being questioned by the head of the school about some mischief or other, the kid says, "I didn't do it, it was that big kid, Jack, Jack Nicholson", the head says, "are you telling the truth?", the kid screams "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH").

Tailor the skits to spoof films that the kids generally know and you can't go wrong. They'll think you are awesome for having a sense of humour to which they can relate.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:39 AM on September 23, 2011

Best answer: Oh here's another: all the kids love/mock Rebecca Black's "Friday."

If you managed to change the lyrics to make them more specific to your school, "Gotta see Mr. Schechner for math, hope I don't incur his wrath," etc., and had the lyrics shown on screen while the teachers sang and danced, that could be kinda cute.

The teachers could do something like, "Friday, Friday, no more kids on Friday, everybody's go back to sleep under our desks..."
posted by kinetic at 3:11 AM on September 23, 2011

In that case, maybe a completely over the top song and dance number, preferably featuring a classic ABBA song and feather boas.

Both my primary school and high school did a teacher performance at the farewell assembly each year, the ones I most remember are "Waterloo" at the primary school, complete with costumes that yes, included feather boas, and "I'm Too Sexy" at the high school, which was awesome but probably a bad idea for middle schoolers.

I remember them as being a lot of fun and certainly I don't know anyone who respected the teachers less because of it, but I suppose YMMV.
posted by lwb at 6:33 AM on September 23, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the ideas, sorry it took so long to get back. In the end different departments did various of the ideas you mentioned above. Some of the more hilarious ones were the musical ones where they made it obvious it was over the top (therefore it was totally fine to laugh and nobody felt embarrassed). The maintenance crew even cross dressed which was pretty funny.

One group did cross the line as warned, but honestly I dont know how they didn't see that coming.

We didn't quite get anything good together in time so I ended up using one of those videos where it sticks your heads on some figures that dance or something... There are some short movie trailers or dances, etc... We put the heads of the department members on and it obviously wasn't the most creative thing and we felt a little bad that we didn't go through the effort to do something live but it was funny and appropriate.

Thanks for all the ideas!
posted by nzydarkxj at 3:38 PM on January 20, 2012

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