I like doodling. It’s therapeutic. It’s fun. It’s a way to pass time. It’s creative. It’s helpful.
When I doodle, I mainly draw geometrical shapes: ovals of all shapes and sizes; nested rectangles; all variety of triangles; my own made-up shapes. I confine myself to these basic figures because, let’s face it, I truly lack artistic talent.
For similar reasons, I sometimes “doodle” numbers. During one marathon Institute session back in 2009, I got so restless that I decided, one day, to write from 1 to a 1000 on a single sheet of paper. “Mission Accomplished”:
(The thought hit me that I may just be OCD.)
Sometimes I take a risk and give sketching a shot. “Real” art! Here’s my hand at my own hand:
My reverence for doodling spills over into the classroom. You see, I don’t get upset when I see students doodling. I have to respect students’ learning styles, right? To each his own! In fact, doodling might actually help people pay attention.
Of course, I’ve seen all sorts of student doodles in my time in the classroom. I see lots of hearts, lots of dreamy images, and some less flattering caricatures of people in the classroom (mostly me). No matter the content, I try to acknowledge each doodle.
Today, I saw some students giggling in one corner of the classroom. I looked in the direction of the giggling. VR, noticing me, called me over, stating that I needed to see something:
- I have a spiky, overgrown mullet (perhaps it’s time for a haircut?).
- I have bug-eyes (actually, I wear glasses).
- The book I am reading is called “I ♥ Books” (authored by yours truly).
- I am thinking in what KK confirmed is Chinese (though none of the characters are recognizable as actual Chinese characters)
- I am focused on the aroma of the sushi that sits on the table (I do love sushi).
- KK doodled on an old exit slip analyzing imagery in Beowulf from almost 2 months ago (the juxtaposition the doodle and exit slip is hilarious).
It’s these serendipitous moments in the classroom that make teaching fun. I may have to frame this student doodle as a pleasant reminder of teaching’s surprises.