Friday, September 25, 2009


Argh! The dreaded number for a high school teacher. And what is it, that if you just make a problem up on the fly ... out of the infinite possible results that could come out, THIS one does.

Anyway, at my "new" school (when will I stop starting a sentence with that?), the kids are pretty well-behaved, and I don't really have many situations where I either inwardly or outwardly roll my eyes at their adolescent-ness. In one class, I have some 2 girls that are classified for special ed because of learning disabilities. Once or twice in the past when I'm making up problems on the fly, to "engage" them more in the process, I ask generally, "what is your favorite number?", and the first one to call one out, gets that number in the current part of the problem. This one particular girl shouted out as her favorite number, "69" amongst the other one digit numbers I was hearing. I didn't make a big deal of it then and just moved on, but I thought at home about an effective way I could address it.

In the past it was boys that did it, and I would just roll my eyes in front of the class and say, "high school boys!" and move on. Here .... girl yelling out .... weird. I couldn't get a grasp on whether she was doing it for effect or if she actually knew what it meant or was just cognizent of the fact that it got a reaction. Anyhow ... it happened again today, and I was ready. I turned to her and said, "you need to stop calling out this number. You probably don't realize it, but you are making yourself out to be a person you REALLY don't want to be mistaken for." or something to that effect and moved on. ... Let's see if this works in the future.


  1. Anonymous12:30 PM

    Ms. Cookie, you always mention something that I can relate to! I had a "69" show up in the middle of an algebra problem in my algebra support class just this week. Immediate giggles from all. I chose to ignore it, since in this class the fact that they are actually following the problem is an achievement.

  2. Ms. Cookie,
    We are on the same wave-length lately! I was honestly going to write a post on this very subject this last week, but was too tired every evening to hammer out a few words! Maybe we use the same textbook, but this number comes up all the time. Last year, at lunch my teacher friends and I were talking about coming up with problems out of thin air because the answer was ALWAYS 69. Weird, huh?

    I also sometimes have a speech impediment where I can't say 6x without it sounding like sex!

  3. Anonymous5:06 PM

    LadyMath ... I'm liking the "deaf ear" syndrome, because that seems to be the most expedient way most times.

    Mrs. H ... maybe it's something in the Central Texas water :). And that "sex" thing .... I made up a homework worksheet, and since I always name them for easy reference later ... and since I didn't want too long of a name, last week I made up a geometry one called: "Angles and Segs." not thinking about how that would sound when I mentioned the homework to my class.

    Ms. Cookie

  4. Anonymous11:43 AM

    I'm curious as to why you roll your eyes and move on when the behavior involves boys but call out and shame the student when it involves a girl. Sexuality is as interesting and pleasurable to a teenage girl as it is to a teenage boy. While math class clearly isn't the appropriate place to express one's sexuality, you singled out a girl for doing what you tolerated among the boys. You set a double standard - "it's okay for boys to express their interest in sex, but girls must remain pure in thought, word and deed." How very 1950s of you.