Teaching Gaffes

I am teaching again after a semester off. Summer Session I. Really enjoying it so far, the students seem motivated and good.

The Chronicle of Higher Ed had a funny discussion thread about Teaching Gaffes. This was the winner, by ‘hegemony’ — something to aspire to:

I brought in a plate of doughnuts for the last class of the term. Laid them out on the plate on the desk, all luscious and sticky and gooey, for the end of class. Then I got so involved in the topic of the class that I sat on the doughnuts.I didn’t realize until I was back at the board, writing, and there were muffled shrieks of laughter from the class.

This was two years ago. The students are still talking about it.

I tried to be very hip and ironic and with-it about the doughnuts on the seat of my pants. Of course I failed utterly. It didn’t help that they were so sticky that I had to go to the bathroom to try to sponge them off, and so then I had sticky doughnut mess plus big wet spots on the back of my pants. It also didn’t help that it was an intensive class, so I actually had to teach several more hours with doughnut leavings on my pants.

Whenever I see one of those students, which is all too often, they say, “Heya! Had any doughnuts lately?” And then they laugh themselves silly.