Are you ready to prank your students this April Fool's Day?
Now that your students are back in the face-to-face classrooms, I am sure you have already planned how to pull their legs this April 1st. If you have not thought of a classroom prank yet and would love to consider an easy-to-manage idea to 'fool' your students this April Fool's Day, I have picked five of them you can use. You do not need to make any elaborate preparations for any of them. The classroom pranks listed here are simple and easy to pull off in an Indian classroom. Trust me! Your students will love you for making the day memorable and fun if you manage to pull any of these off, successfully or unsuccessfully. Here we go:
Walk into the classroom and start talking 'silently'!
We, teachers, are known for our 'teacher-voice.' We are infamous for talking in the loudest possible voice when we teach a class of 30 to 60 students. Shock your students this April Fool's Day by talking silently. Walk into your classroom and start moving your lips as though you are telling them something important, as though you are teaching. Your students may figure out you are trying to pull a smart one on them because it is April Fool's Day. Most of them may start giggling after the first sixty seconds of your Muted Lesson. Do not give up! Put on a poker face and continue your Muted Lesson till they are confused, wondering if this is for real or a prank.
Teach from the back of your classroom!
The head of the class is where we usually place teachers in the power hierarchy of a classroom. Let us subvert the status quo this April Fool's Day! Walk into your classroom and go, stand right at the back, behind your students. Start teaching! Your students may figure out you are trying to fool them and start giggling. Follow through, putting on a straight face, till you have them thoroughly confused.
Pretend you are calling a few students out for some terrible mistake!
Walk into your classroom dramatically as though something is wrong and start writing the names of a few students randomly on the blackboard. Write some random information against each of their names, like a word, a phrase, or a date. Shake your head, visibly upset, and tell them you would like to discuss a few things about this after the lesson for the day. Start your lesson! When you find them worried or confused about what is happening in the classroom, break the news that you just fooled them.
Surprise 'Spelling' Test
Spell the words instead of pronouncing them during a spelling test!
You know how your students hate 'surprise' tests. What if that 'surprise' test is to evaluate their skill at spelling words? I am sure you always find more than half of your class groaning when you test them on spelling skills. Announce a surprise 'spelling' test as you walk into your classroom. Once they are ready to take the test, 'spell' the words instead of reading them out. Yes, you heard me right! For example, instead of saying 'apple,' say, 'a-p-p-l-e!' Do you see where we are going with this 'Surprise Spelling Test?'
Have another teacher pretend to be you!
Ask a colleague to walk into your classroom and start teaching as though they are you. Tell your colleague what exactly your routines are for that classroom. Ask them to behave like they are you. When your students are thoroughly confused about the teacher-flip, walk into the classroom and break the news about how you pulled a smart one on them.
Not to forget, follow your prank up with a discussion on the history of April Fool's Day. You know the story, don't you? If not, check it out here.
About the Author
Sojo Varughese is an educator with more than a decade and a half of rich and varied on-field experience behind him in Teacher Training, Instructional Coaching, Academic Audit, Education Technology Integration, and School Improvement. Over these years, working with international, national & state board schools (government and private), he would have by now trained and coached 46000+ school leaders and teachers across India and the Middle East in contemporary classroom teaching, student assessment, and school management practices. Sojo Varughese is the co-founder of Innerkern and you can read more about his work here.