Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pop Culture Ruins Everything

As a 5th grade teacher, I've come to hate pop culture.


Well, adults find things they like and share them with their friends.  Then their friends respond with something uniquely interesting, and the conversation continues and morphs until they've been twenty-nine different, potentially interesting places.

Not so with kids.

In the kid-world, someone says,

"What Does the Fox Say" is an awesome video!  And suddenly everyone watches it.  Multiple times.  And then you can't run from it!

Last year, "Gangham Style" hi-jacked my ability to let 5th graders freestyle dance to a song we were learning.

This year, I was caught somewhat off guard during a seemingly harmless lesson on sharps and flats.  Sure, I'd seen the memes (with a Facebook full of music geeks, it would be hard not to), but the real-world impact just hadn't occurred to me.

Sure, they were only 4th graders.  But it became readily apparent they'd seen this video:

I mean, they did the hand sign for hashtag and everything!

And suddenly it really didn't matter what I said, because underlying it all was a constant bed of whispers and giggles:

"Hashtag... hee hee hee..."

"Hashtag... tee hee hee..."

I know all you education graduates are screaming at me that I'm missing an opportunity here.  We were all taught to latch on to their prior learning, right?

Yeah... next year... maybe I'll go that way.  I could plan a whole cool lesson introducing the Sharp as the original hashtag.  If only I'd thought of it this year!

But that's the trouble with pop culture.  What's popular is always changing!  And it turns out, I'm getting old, and I'm not as in touch with the 11-year old set as I may once have been, at least where YouTube is concerned.

I know I need to adapt, and I know the kids respond well to cool.

But people:


The Dave Blog said...

Embarrassed that this never occurred to me. We should start calling hashtags sharps with the corresponding finger sign - one syllable vs. two...