That's what one of my students said yesterday when I asked him why he wouldn't participate in class, putting his head down and refusing to do any work. I'm not the teacher he wanted. The teacher he wanted took another job in another state, and I am in her room. But I am not her. I can't be her. I can only be me.
I talked to this student for a time, trying to convince him that the class would get better. I got a few minutes worth of work out of him, and then the bell rang. He left, sullen and angry.
I had a review session planned for today for their test tomorrow, so I rearranged the desks into pairs and put students in teams as they came in the room. With one laptop per pair, I fired up the Nearpod presentation I created the night before, packed with multiple choice questions, short-answer questions, and drawing activities. Through the great sharing feature that Nearpod has, I could share the results of the polls they took directly with students on their screens, I could share examples of good answers to the open-ended questions, and I could show them examples of the drawing activities.
In the middle of the review (after a question about what type of pollution was shown in a picture), this same student raised his hand and asked an insightful question about the issues surrounding the disposal of environmental waste. It generated a good discussion for a while, and then we moved on to the next Nearpod question. As we finished the review in Nearpod, I was walking by his desk when he looked me straight in the eye and said,
"This was cool."
I hope that's not the last time I hear him say that.