In the crazy world of teaching, there are a handful of people who can still keep up the semblance sanity. “The Weird Teacher”; as he is better known, Doug Robertson is an amazing individual, high on life and ready for world domination. He teaches the fourth grade and employs extraordinary insights to explore and impart knowledge to one and all.
In this podcast, he talks about his life, his early career, his engagement with students, building positive relationships, handling classroom problems, his totally awesome #WeirdEd chat on twitter and above all his take on the education system from a whole new perspective.
“Smile as much as you can”
Doug is in his ninth year of classroom teaching and he advocates smiling to build relationships and wipe out the negativity. He also advises us to shun out all the negative people who can plague your mind at work.
“Don’t talk down to children. Just talk to children.”
Doug pulls out a line from “Mrs. Doubtfire” to depict the importance of mingling with children as a necessary tool to facilitate the right kind of education. He urges to discard all attempts at teaching students at a superficial level and reaching out to them from deep within.
“I was very resistant to doing an Ed Chat.”
Doug never liked the idea of doing an Educational Chat on Twitter because he thinks they can be repetitive and “super-boring”. Being a teacher, he felt that Twitter was not being used in a productive manner as it should have been, while doing an ed chat. Samantha Bates (@sjsbates) who happens to be an admirer of Doug inspired him in the first place to start his own series of #WeirdEd chats.
The #WeirdEd chat has been phenomenal in building strong relationship, sharing values, connecting teachers with ideas and suggestions through quality conversations. Doug never refrains from engaging in serious conversations, like the one he mentions doing recently right after the Ferguson incident, where he called upon fellow educator Sarah (@sarahdateechur) to help him mull over some coherent ideas of racism.
“There is so much white noise on the Internet.”
People hate teachers turning into brands. Doug thinks he has a solution to the problem. He approaches the concept in broad daylight where people can relate to teachers as functional brands, much similar to his own persona as the “Weird Teacher.” In other words, it readily connects like-minded individuals to an honest idea that works for all round development.
As a teenager, Doug was hugely inspired by “Starship Troopers”.
Doug has read Robert Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers” several times and he creates a strong line of distinction between the novel adapted for screen as a sci-fi tale and the book in particular. He thinks it’s essentially episodic and has great lessons on teaching and mentorship.
If Doug gets a chance to go to a dinner with someone he admires, he wants it to be no one other than American musician & writer, Henry Rollins.
Doug is the author of the book called, “He’s the Weird Teacher,” where he retains his signature style of expressing ideas with a dash of fun and functionality in equal measures. He also keeps his calendar busy as he travels across the country as a conference speaker.
You can reach Doug in the following ways:
Doug’s book: He’s the Weird Teacher
Hope you enjoy the podcast!