As any teacher will tell you, teaching is easy. For those who are completely inept, however, and want some advice, I offer the following step-by-step guide on how to plan a Haloween-themed lesson for nine children. Watch and learn.
TWO DAYS BEFORE LESSON
Step 1: Figure out what you’re going to do. Must be educational and fun. Can’t be gross ’cause the kids won’t do it. Can’t be scary ’cause then you’ll get angry letters from parents. Can’t be expensive. Can’t be too elaborate ’cause you only have an hour and a half. Can’t need too many supplies ’cause you drive a scooter.
Substep A: Stupid scooter.
Substep B: Google.
Substep B: Scowl at Google because there’s no Hobby Lobby or Michael’s or specialty craft store in Hsinchu.
Step 2: Decide on lesson: owl magnets. Cheap craft, you can teach about owls, everyone has a take-home toy parents won’t hate.
Step 3: Google image search. Find a cute picture of a cartoon owl you can recreate with paper and slap onto a magnet.
DAY BEFORE LESSON
Step 4: Find store with supplies.
Substep A: Upon entering store, realize you may have to go down every aisle because of all the cool stuff it has. And there are two floors!
Substep B: Jackpot. Supplies located.
Step 5: Realize you should have figured out what exactly you needed before coming to the store.
Step 6: Buy paper, something you think is magnetic tape, sticky-tack instead of glue (so the kids can reposition everything when they mess up), pipe cleaners, and enough googly eyes for six owls.
Substep A: Six owls? You have nine students.
Substep B: See Step 7.
Step 7: Return to house. Spread out supplies on bedroom floor.
Realize you only bought 12 googly eyes when you needed 18.
Scowl. Of all the supplies you could screw up, it’s the one you could actually count?
Substep A: Roll eyes.
Substep B: Deep sigh.
Step 8: Stare at owl picture. Wonder if you’ve lost your mind. Since it’s already the night before the lesson and you already bought the supplies, you’ve dug your grave.
Step 9: Spend an hour trying to put the pieces together to resemble an owl.
Step 10: Put magnetic tape on sample owl’s back.
Substep A: Stick to metal dresser.
Substep B: Watch it tumble to the floor.
Substep C: Change lesson name from “Paper Owl Magnets” to “Paper Owl”.
Step 11: Look at the clock. Notice that it was your bedtime an hour ago. Pack everything up. Go to bed.
DAY OF LESSON
Step 12: On lunch break the next day, go back to the store (a 20-minute scoot from work) and buy more googly eyes.
Substep A: Get extra paper just in case.
Substep B: Spend 20 minutes walking through all the aisles again and realize you’re going to be late getting back to work.
Step 13: 4:30pm: Start class. Tell owl facts. The kids are good today – that’s going to make everything a lot easier.
Step 14: Take the kids through the process of making their owls. Accidentally have the kids use the wrong-sized template for the “tummy” part of the owl.
Step 15: Roll with the punches.
Step 16: Tell Ryan to sit down. Tell Sara to sit down. Tell Annie to stop taking things off your desk.
Step 17: After they’ve finished their owls, the kids stick their owls to the white board… and they actually stay! The magnetic tape really works!
Substep A: Clap like a little kid at Christmas that just unwrapped a new puppy.
Substep B: Do a touchdown dance and end up hands skyward, thanking the Maker for magnetic tape that works.
Step 18: Kids start a game: who can throw their owl at the board and have it stick?
Substep A: Watch Ryan throw it so high that he can’t reach it.
Substep B: Retrieve Ryan’s owl.
Step 19: Everyone’s giggling. Sunny, your boss, is giggling even harder than you are. The owls are a hit and everyone’s happy.
YOU WIN AT TEACHING.
But not at buying the right number of googly eyes.