So, for yesterday's 12th grade lesson (and tomorrow's 11th grade lesson, because I'm lazy), I took the students to the language lab for a listening exercise. They had been there the period before mine, listening to TOEFL practice tests, mostly simple conversations about the weather and how to get to the airport; they were also clearly bored out of their minds. So, to pep things up a bit, I brought in the Postal Service song "Nothing Better," and had them fill in the blanks on the lyrics sheet.
I left the classroom feeling like the coolest teacher ever. Not only did we get to review vocabulary, and then discuss who was right in this situation, both valid teaching techniques, the students loved the song. The first time through, a few of them bobbed their heads or quietly tapped their desks. The second time through, about half the class was stomping their feet or rapping their desk or clapping along; several students were even singing along, in that awkward I've-forgotten-I'm-wearing-headphones-and-so-shouldn't-be-singing sort of way.
These kids are seriously cute. And they like the Postal Service. Suddenly, being stuck in a room full of 17 year olds for the next eight months doesn't seem quite so bad.
(Just wait until next time, when I bring in Joanna Newsom.)