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Teaching Class Clowns (And What They Can Teach Us)
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Teaching Class Clowns (And What They Can Teach Us)


March 2006 | 152 pages | Corwin
 "A challenging opportunity for the teacher to capitalize on this all-too-often overlooked student."
—Donald W. Russell, Professor Emeritus and Acting Dean
School of Education, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

"Offers much needed fresh air and insightful messages."
—John J. Schmidt, Professor of Counselor Education
East Carolina University

"For a class clown, reading this book was like looking into a mirror. But I looked, sounded, and seemed smarter in Purkey's mirror."
—Tim Cusack, Speaker, Trainer, Actor

Leverage the unique humor of class clowns to improve classroom management and student motivation!

This first-of-its-kind resource shows teachers, administrators, and counselors how to teach these unique yet at-risk learners while also leveraging their blend of humor and intelligence to inject joy and enthusiasm into the classroom. Written by a veteran educator (and self-described class clown), this concise guide combines laugh-out-loud writing with the author's field-tested expertise to help educators: 
  • Identify the four "signature" tendencies of class clowns
  • Employ practical classroom strategies to keep instruction moving
  • Prevent class clowns from acting out by understanding how to teach them

 
Foreword by Sally Butzin
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. Appreciating Class Clowns
Introduction

 
The Case for Class Clowns

 
Having Fun as a Teaching Strategy

 
Breeding Ground for Professional Comedians

 
Who Is a Class Clown?

 
The Value of Cheerfulness

 
Encore

 
 
2. Understanding Class Clowns.
Humor Brain Drain

 
Friendly Clowns and Hostile Clowns

 
Friendly Clowns

 
Hostile Clowns

 
Class Clown Relationships

 
The Art of Clowning

 
Tribulations of Class Clowns

 
Signature Tendencies of Class Clowns

 
Encore

 
 
3. Investing
The Value of Investing

 
How to Teach Class Clowns Through Investing

 
Share Responsibilities

 
Form Triads

 
Spotlight Talent

 
Modify the Grading System

 
Encourage Special Interest Groups

 
What Class Clowns Can Teach Us About Investing

 
Any Attempt Is a Victory

 
If it’s Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing Poorly

 
Be a Rubber Ball

 
Encore

 
 
4. Asserting
The Value of Asserting

 
How to Teach Class Clowns Through Asserting

 
Be Positive With Directives

 
Use No-Cut Contracts

 
Promote Civility

 
Involve Clowns in Decisions

 
What Class Clowns Can Teach Us About Asserting

 
Keep a Sense of Humor

 
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

 
Challenge Authority

 
Promote Democratic Values

 
Encore

 
 
5. Relating
The Value of Relating

 
How to Teach Class Clowns Through Relating

 
Use Inclusive Pronouns

 
Brighten the Classroom

 
Build Class Spirit

 
Conduct Field Studies

 
Play That Funky Music

 
What Class Clowns Can Teach Us About Relating

 
Savor Every Moment

 
Enjoy Life

 
Fight Fair

 
Encore

 
 
6. Coping
The Value of Coping

 
How to Teach Class Clowns Through Coping

 
Keep the Volcano From Erupting

 
Listen to the Ice

 
Follow the Six C’s

 
What Class Clowns Can Teach Us About Coping

 
Capitalize on Bad Moments

 
Count on Serendipity

 
Find Humor in Frustrations

 
Be Suspicious of Hearsay

 
Conclusion

 
A Final Encore

 
 
Bibliography
 
Index

"The book made me look at the class clown in a positive light rather than a negative disruptive individual.  It gave me many ideas on how to channel the energy of a class clown in a positive direction."

Leile Poppleton
Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, Twin Falls High School, ID

"It is not difficult to read, and in places is laugh-out-loud funny.  I related several of the more humorous passages to my wife, and we both laughed heartily.  I would recommend this book to my colleagues because we have all had students like these in class, and they can be most disruptive if they want to.  Having some strategies to use with these special students will be most helpful."

Aaron Faletto, Music Teacher/Band Director
Newport Heights Elementary, Bellevue, WA

"First of all I was immediately able to see myself, and some of my antics, as a child, student, adult, police officer, and now a teacher!  It was nice to finally be able to "come-out-of-the-closet" (so to speak) and truly be who I am!  Second, I was able to apply a great deal of what was spoken of in helping my current Clown!  He has responded marvelously!  Third, this manuscript allowed me to look back at the errors I have made in working with students who identify with the Class Clown persona, and (hopefully) not repeat them."

Mark Sadler, 5th Grade Teacher
Oliver J. Kendall Elementary, Naperville, IL

"There are many good and concrete suggestions for practitioners. The author not only identifies the complex issues at stake but goes on to make appropriate suggestions for dealing with class clowns. Teachers will be energized."

Frank Parajes, Professor
Division of Educational Studies, Emory University

"Purkey provides teachers a rare glimpse into the children behind the clowning student and describes “nuts and bolts” means to engage such students into the learning environment."

Gerald A. Juhnke, Professor
University of Texas at San Antonio

"This is an uplifting, refreshing, informative, amusing and generally life-enhancing book that addresses a reality most teachers define as a problem – the presence of class clowns in school rooms...offers practical suggestions for working with challenging individuals more productively – for both teachers’ and students’ sakes... articulates a perspective that resonates with the disheartening experiences of many teachers, yet inspires them to go beyond the status quo to bring greater significance, meaning and humanity to their work as professional educators."

Anne Richards, Professor Emerita
University of West Georgia

"The book addresses an important area of education that has been neglected for too long of a time.   Not only is the book informative and addresses an important educational area, the author writes in a style that is ‘easy reading’ and quite humorous.  The authors style of writing actively engages and ‘invites’ the reader to think about his or her own past school experiences so as to become better teachers or administrators."

Ken Smith, Counseling and Educational Psychologist
Trescowthick School of Education, Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, VIC, Australia

"In this delightfully written book, Dr. Purkey has captured the essence of those 'characters' whom all of us can relate with, having sat next to in school, been one ourselves (class clown) or endured the challenges of teaching these scamps. I have gained a more compassionate insight into multifaceted qualities of all those I teach."

Daniel E. Shaw, Associate Professor, Behavioral Medicine
Nova Southeastern University

"Dr. Purkey has gifted a joyous affirmation to all whose philosophy for effective living is anchored in the belief: 'A day without laughter is a day without sunshine.' "

Zacharie J. Clements, President
Inner Management Inc.

"Finally, the true significance of the 'class clown' has been professionally identified and analyzed as a functional teaching source. . . [and] presented as a challenging opportunity for the teacher to capitalize on this all-too-often over-looked student."

Donald W. Russell, Professor Emeritus and Acting Dean
School of Education, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Key features
  • An informative, lively, and concise guide to understanding and teaching class clowns, who often are both gifted and at risk learners.
  • Includes practical strategies for teachers, counselors, and school administrators.
  • Outstanding reviews: this book is laugh-out-loud funny in its own right
  • Author is an active consultant, speaker, and workshop trainer

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Foreword

Chapter 1

Preface


For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412937252
$26.95