Teacher Becomes a Cell to Help Students Learn

by Jerry Whiting with Rillene Nielsen

Someone in a blue sumo suit is mulling around in the hallway near room 48, bobbing up and down, calling out “Hello!” to everyone within earshot.  The reactions spanned the spectrum, but most smiled and wondered, "What is Mr. Whiting up to this time?"

Class begins.  Getting up and down the aisles proved a challenging chore as, amid giggles and rolling eyes, Mr. Whiting knocked a few kids around with his big, blue suit.

Students asked, "What are you supposed to be?" He told them that by the end of the period they would be able to guess. So, as the discussion began, the blue cell who once had been Mr. Whiting put laminated organelle images into his suit one by one.

Toward the end of class he asked them, "What am I?"

In one accord students yelled out, "A cell!"

"Yes, but what kind of cell: plant or animal?" he queried. He then reviewed which of the organelles were inside by diving head first into the sultry suit to retrieve the laminations. The guffaws and laughs as he became a headless, armless blue blob made the heat and humidity of wearing a funny costume all day worth it.

As the period came to a close, and students checked their notes, the answer was clear as to why he wore a goofy, blue inflatable morph suit.

"You are an animal cell, Mr. Whiting!"

He gave them a thumbs up and retorted, "And don't you forget it!"

The bell rang.  As always, the 7th graders he loves so much heard him call out, "Have a great day!" He watched them head down the hall knowing that their other six teachers had just as an amazing lesson because here at Spanish Fork Junior High the faculty, student body and staff can't be beat!

Go Lobos! Aaaaaawooooooooooooo!!