Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Silly Movie Post for a Friend - Meatballs and Education

I never went to camp as a kid. Well, I went to Cub Scout Day camp and fired a bow and arrow and shot a pellet gun, but I never went to an overnight camp. I didn't see Meatballs until the mid 90's and I believe it was on TV, so I didn't get the full experience of the movie. As I look back on the movie, I realize that it is a great movie and filled with wonderful quotes that nail what education is all about today. Take a look at these great quotes and see if you agree.

Tripper: Attention. Here's an update on tonight's dinner. It was veal. I repeat, veal. The winner of tonight's mystery meat contest is Jeffrey Corbin who guessed "some kind of beef." 

Education is filled with surprises. You enter a classroom and you have no idea what type of kids you are going to get and those kids change from day to to day. It's important to trust your instinct and make the best guess that you can. You were hired for a reason, you were the best person for the job or you were standing in the wrong line. Either way, you have a chance to make a difference and sometimes the best guess is the best thing you can do.

Tripper: And even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we win! Even if we play so far above our heads that our noses bleed for a week to ten days; even if God in Heaven above comes down and points his hand at our side of the field; even if every man woman and child held hands together and prayed for us to win, it just wouldn't matter because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Mohawk because they've got all the money! It just doesn't matter if we win or we lose. IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER! Rest of group: IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER! IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER...

In education, we are going to be constantly fighting an uphill battle. We could do the best job in the world, but the community will always be critical of the job teachers and admins do in the school system. No matter how hard we try, we will never be on the top of the food chain, but that doesn't matter. Not a single person has entered education for the glory. Well, maybe one Secretary of Education, but that doesn't count. Does it? Anyway, we will continue to fight the good fight and move to change the educational world because even though it might not matter to most, it matters to us and that is important.

Tripper: Ok, the zone's not working. They're a little too big to play man-to-man. And we can't shoot for sh!t.

Change. Education is change. If educators do not see that, they will continue to lose the game and just claim the opponent is too tough to deal with. Nobody likes change. It's tough. Annoying. I want to change my weight and health by running. Running is not fun. Anyone that terlls you that running is fun is a liar. I tried track once. It was not fun. Why the heck would anyone want to run in a circle for a mile? I need some scenery. Luckily I live by a park that has beautiful scenery and I can run a couple of miles in a wooded area with trails. It's almost like Lord of the Rings except I'm not in New Zealand. Is there an Old Zealand. What was I talking about? Oh yea, running is not fun and neither is change. If you don't like change though you will become obsolete and that is not good. There are to many educators that need to be replaced with new models because they refuse to upgrade themselves. Constantly evaluate your operating system and upgrade when necessary, but never for upgrading sakes. (Editors Note: How the heck did I go from a a Meatballs Basketball analogy to a computer operating system reference? Answer: I'm just that awesome.)

Tripper: I'm takin' the C.I.T.s on an overnight for the next couple days so you're gonna have to do your own training, son. I want you to run two miles today and two and a half tomorrow.
Rudy: I've never run that far.
Tripper: Neither have I but somebody's gotta do it. I can't be expected to do it. Somebody's gotta do it, and it can't be me. Because I'm too busy. I've responsibilities. I'm the entertainment director for the overnight. 

Goal setting is so important for students. I'm not sure that you should ask them to do something that you can not do, but you need to set the goals high for the kids. Let them think they can't get there and explain how they need to get there. Positive motivation is key to student achievement. A bottle of wine is very important for teacher satisfaction. It's important to never forget that. (Editors Note: It's also important to not swap those last two ideas.)

Tripper: What's the matter? You're pacing like an expectant father with the clap. 

Stay calm in the face of stress. An educators life is never easy, but you cannot let the kids or parents see it in your face, or in this case, you pacing. Take some time and relax when the time is available. There is nothing worse than seeing a friend walk around with an STD look on their face. It's a face I've seen too many times. (Editor's Note: If you have to ask what an STD look is, you're not an educator or have never taught in a public school or really skanky Private schools.)

Roxanne: Are those Clorets in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

As always, education is about Passion and Excitement. Educators need to be excited and passionate about education to make a difference in the world. The bad seeds are the ones that get the press, but the good ones, the ones reading this blog, are the ones that make the most difference. These passionate ones are the educators that need to let the world know that they are passionate about education and they are going to make a difference. Educators should not be afraid to tell others they love their job. (Editor's Note: Please fight the urge to punch the person that makes the Summer School remark. However, don't fight the urge too much or you will end up with an STD face.) I love being an educator. I love telling everyone I'm a teacher. It's not embarrassing at all. Proudly show your passion in any way that you like. (Editor's Note: I highly suggest you do not show your passion the Tripper does.)

I hope everyone enjoyed this quick take on Education and Meatballs. It's been a while since I've done a Movie post, but this was fun. I hope everyone is having a great summer (or Winter for you Aussies) and are learning at a crazy pace. I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I did writing it. (Editor's Note: Careful Nick, I think your passion is showing.)

- @TheNerdyTeacher


  1. Lol! Definitely put a smile to my face! Can't believe you never went to camp! Some of my favorite moments were at camp! That's one of the 1st places I discovered the wonderful feeling of having a community of support & shared experiences!

  2. Oh my. That was quite the post. I have to say, I wasn't sure how you were going to manage tying Meatballs to education but you must be just that awesome because you pulled it off. I am really digging the idea of EdTech camp for teachers.
    Sending this post to all the new teachers I know. Great advice in here.

  3. Oh my. That was quite the post. I have to say, I wasn't sure how you were going to manage tying Meatballs to education but you must be just that awesome because you pulled it off. I am really digging the idea of EdTech camp for teachers.
    Sending this post to all the new teachers I know. Great advice in here.

  4. I never went to camp either! I want to go! Nice job Nick...very funny.


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