28-Charlie Rowley Tells Teachers to let their Freak Flag Fly


A few years back, Charlie Rowley became my student teacher. Charlie is a really good looking dude. He’s friendly, calm, and to top it off, he was a college football player. Many of my kids were immediately drawn to Charlie, but there was a handful who were totally closed down and not ready to give him a chance. It was like they were thinking, Oh great…another jock Social Studies teacher! I pulled Charlie aside and explained this delicate social dynamic. Charlie didn’t hesitate, “Okay…let’s see if I can win them over. This sounds like fun.” He’s a great guy.

Charlie Rowley

Charlie Rowley 


Over the next few weeks, Charlie shelved his ego and worked hard to engage his reluctant contingent. It was working. They started warming up to him. And then one day, one of Charlie’s emerging converts made an amazing observation. Listen to this episode to learn how a simple observation from a student revolutionized Charlie’s ability to engage his students!

Episode Template

The Problem:

Teachers are afraid to be human in front of students.

The Solution:

Become aware of, then whole-heartedly embrace, your interesting proclivities.

What You Can Do Tomorrow?

  • Challenge students to list some of their proclivities.
  • Direct students to list some odd tendencies or quirks of friends and family. 
  • Ask student a simple question,Is there anything I do or say on a regular basis that you guys think is strange or unique?” 
  • If you do something odd…own it, exploit it, and find ways to perform it on a regular basis.

Discover your unique proclivities. Exploit these wonderful behavioral fingerprints as potentially wonderful engagement tools.

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