Wherein Dan Confesses a Man-Crush on John Green’s Wit & Open Letter to Students

This was posted by The VlogBrothers back on August 7.

I find it delightful and amazing.

Plus, I confess a platonic man-crush on John Green’s wit.  I wouldn’t mind an evening cuddling with his playful banter, watching Airwolf re-runs and listening to Weezer’s Pinkerton album.

Yet I digress.

Safe to say I will be showing this to all of my students next Thursday and Friday.



About Dan Ryder

Dan Ryder & Jeff Bailey, co-founders of Wicked Decent Learning, a blog, podcast, Twitter feed and who-knows-what-all-else devoted to teaching and learning in Vacationland and beyond. Teachers, dads, actors, writers, geeks, buds.

4 thoughts on “Wherein Dan Confesses a Man-Crush on John Green’s Wit & Open Letter to Students

  1. Love this and will also be showing it to my students to start off my year. That is if my staff doesn’t snag it for the first assembly first.

    • You know, I have gotten wondering . . .

      I love this video. I think there is brilliant stuff happening in it. I find it endlessly entertaining. I love this video.

      However, as much as I want my students to hear John Green’s words and get inspired by John Green’s wit (sigh-flutter-sigh) I wonder if REQUIRING the masses to watch it is the best approach.

      If our laptops were available, I’d toss the link to the students with the suggestion they watch. I’d probably dig up one or two other inspirational message videos and send them along as well. Let them choose to engage or not, choose to be active receivers of the message or not.

      As comedians, you and I know the challenges of the hostage audience — those cats ain’t so much interested in the laughing, right?

      I wonder if showing this video with the underlying directive, “Get inspired!” is the best way.

      Methinks I may have better success with a few carefully selected “leaks” to Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and let the peer pressure work its mojo.

      • The only problem I see with the video is the part where he goes with the “School is not about YOU” angle. I understand his angle and his point but a student may walk away with the message “We don’t care what you want, we need better pizza.” But I really don’t think so.

        As far as “forced inspiration” goes, I can say that there are times I’ve been independently inspired by things. Lots of times. Things I found on my own. But I think part of school is to expose kids to things they may not find on their own. They may not all love that book or that film or that piece of art, but at least some of them will some of the time.

        Ultimately yes, we want them to follow their own dreams and their own passions, but sometimes outside stimuli create a connection they wouldn’t have thought of before with some new influence.

        • I’m not trying to say we shouldn’t expose students to new ideas and such. Far from . . .

          What I’m wondering is just how far removed from “sit in the auditorium and watch this video on the opening teacher day” we are when we see something we find very powerful and present it to students as required viewing.

          As curators of our classroom’s content, we likely have much success, picking and choosing those experiences we think are best suited for our students.

          I’ve just been thinking a lot lately about that “purveyor of wisdom” role educators fall into and whether or not, even through the noblest of intentions, sometimes we miss out on reaching students simply by waiting for them to take rather than tossing it into their hands. That’s all.

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