About Jake Miller

Mr. Jake Miller is the 2016 National History Day Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year, a 2017 NEA Global Fellow to China, and a former candidate for county-wide office. Miller has written more than 500 articles, most of which have appeared on The Educator's Room. He's the opening contributor to TER's book When the Fire Is Gone. Learn more about Jake at www.MrJakeMiller.com

With Rio upon us and, for some, the advent of another school year, I wondered what it would be like if our first days of in-service were summer Olympic-based… if only we could compete in:

what would it be like if our first in-service days were summer Olympic-based Click To Tweet
  1. The Testing Proctor Decathlon – remove or cover all posters, sign in, secure your tests, take attendance, distribute pencils, read the script in the most monotonous way possible, pace the aisles, do not answer any questions in a helpful manner, collect the tests, treat like nuclear codes
  2. Arch or Read – how long can you have a class of 30 students read until they begin to collapse in their desks?
  3. Bad-gradin’ – similar to badminton, but instead of watching the birdie fall from the sky, you throw the papers down the stairs. Heaviest ones make it to the bottom stair, or “A” stair
  4. Beach volley-calls – for those teachers who are amazing at playing phone tag with parents
  5. Unboxing – how quickly can you get your room ready for students without calling your spouse?
  6. Jargon Re-cycling – how many educational jargon slang can you fit in one breath? Scaffolded and differentiated benchmarks that cross-curricular facilitate outside-the-box, evidence-based thinking!
  7. Synchronized lesson plans – for when that new teacher is hired and you need to help them get their feet wet
  8. Dress-code Violations – similar to dressage, except instead of riding horses, you ride your assistant principal for letting “all that” hang out all over the place
  9. The Copychase – hurdle your way over barriers of broken down Xerox machines, pointless paper jams, empty ink cartridges as you print your way to victory!
  10. The 20km walk – better known as the amount of time it takes to get to your car at the end of the day
  11. Tot Put – Kindergarten teachers productively teaching ADHD students
  12. Grade de-fencing – “What do you mean my kid failed your test? They’ve NEVER failed a test before! There must be something wrong with your test / you / what my kid ate for breakfast / the smell of the room / etc.”
  13. Scroll Vault – and other tech-related problem-solving
  14. Ca-Knew You’d Say That – Catch as many tried and true excuses as possible: “The dog ate my homework” – “I emailed you my paper last night” – “I thought you said it was due on Thursday”
  15. Springboard Grading – How many piles of paperwork can you process before your staff meeting in 30 minutes… oh darn, I mean 20!
  16. Horizontal Curriculum Bar – it’s gotta be aligned across the whole district, Mrs. Smith! The WHOOOOOLE district!
  17. Balance Work-Home-Life Beam – wait, did I assign my 7th-grade students that paper, or was it my son’s to do this weekend…
  18. Uneven Public Perception Bars – attending school board meetings, speaking out in the newspaper, and writing your politicians will earn you the gold medal here
  19. Still Binder Rings – “Mr. Jones, I can’t get my binder to close anymore!” But it’s only the 4th day of school, Timmy…
  20. 100m Bathroom Dash – winner gets to use all 3 minutes of between-class time!
  21. Judo Your HomeworkSeriously Timmy, do you even use your agenda? My website? The Remind app? Google Classroom? I mean, the only thing I’m not doing for you is the homework itself…
  22. Rug-Cleaning Sevens – for when they pulled your custodian for the week, how long does it take you to pick up 300 pages of punched paper holes?
  23. Disgust Throw – when you’re given a new directive and only 2 hours to learn it
  24. Basket-All-Call – right when you’re about to hit the high point in the lesson… “Timmy, could you please report to the office before the end of class? Your mom dropped off ice cream for you.”
  25. Cheat Shooting – similar to skeet shooting, but instead of knocking clays from the sky, you knock down wandering eyes
  26. Sailing to Labor Day – why am I wishing for a break already?
  27. 100m Best-Lesson-Stroke – For when your Assistant Principal wants to observe you
  28. District Policies Hurdles – wait, you want us to do what now?
  29. Sub Plans Freestyle – or the prevention of such a sport, which looks a lot more like Piggy in Lord of the Flies than Michael Phelps in a pool
  30. Troubled Student Relay – when your team of teachers figures out how to really get to that difficult student and change his/her life
  31. Due Date Lifting – so we need to squeeze in this and this and this because, if we don’t, we’re going to be disrupted by Christmas break / testing / the pep rally / etc.
  32. Marathon Just Keep Swimming – April-May…
  33. Taekwondo Your Homework Now – Seriously Timmy!
  34. Ten-Is the Amount of Points for This Assignment – Stop asking how many points this is and just complete it
  35. Resting – similar to wrestling, but only occurs on Saturday and Sunday

Teacher Olympics

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