Dead on Arrival StudentsToday I wanted to write about something that has been on my mind for a while but it was not until lately that I completed some of my thoughts on the subject. To start, let me explain what DOA means to me.

As I have been doing animations it has required me to build my own computer to get the required specs at a much lower cost. It was then I came to understand what many people who buy electronics refer to as DOA. This means dead on arrival. While building computers I have gotten DOA parts or parts that were dead from the moment they entered my house. The process to fix this is fairly smooth as I bought the parts from a large electronics retailer. You contact them and after getting the item shipped back they will send you a new one to replace the dead one you received. The hardest part about this is the TIME it takes. When you are anxious or on a time crunch it is very difficult to have to wait for parts that work. The time I missed waiting caused small issues in my work.  The DOA that I am talking of also happens in a sense with children showing up to the classroom.

Many times teachers get kids in the morning that are DOA, now please do not take this wrong, I mean the student is alive but mentally is not ready for the day. I know exactly how this is because I worked nights in high school and many times I was DOA in my first period classes. It was not just being tired though that caused the problems, it was also because I chose to keep my mind asleep. This caused problems in my learning as it took time for me to get into the lessons and I lost valuable information along the way. DOA can happen to any student at any time and it does not just happen in the mornings either.

There was one teacher in my mind that I had that I cannot remember having this problem with. He was a chemistry teacher and I loved his class. I was not good at chemistry and even had to take the class twice before I passed but his teaching style got me going every morning. He would start out the day showing something funny or telling a story or asking what we did over the weekend. This got all the students involved and all our minds activated. Sometimes the funny videos he showed were related to chemistry and sometimes random funny (appropriate) videos. I look back on that class and realize it was not the videos that kept me intrigued, it was simple little things my teacher did to help us get ready to learn. He woke us up and then we started learning.

I also look back on another teacher that I had in 6th grade. She was an awesome teacher who loved the beach boys. We would sing beach boys songs almost every day and I excelled in her class. I did well in her class because I felt engaged and was part of the class.

Now I could give hundreds of tips from teachers all over how they wake up students to get ready to learn. I see some teachers doing funny things like putting on weird hats to get laughs, and I see other teachers use video and other resources to get kids engaged. I believe that teachers can find what works for them to get kids engaged before lessons begin. Please do not think that I am just telling you this to coerce you to use my videos. I would love to have you use the videos and this is one of the reasons why I made them. In the class when starting a new math subject I wanted kids to be able to watch the video and really get engaged in the lesson. This technique may not work for all teachers and I realize this so find what works for you. Best of luck teaching!