Tony Gurr

So You Think You Can TEACH?

In Classroom Teaching, Teacher Learning on 19/06/2013 at 7:33 am


Yes…even I have a fewguilty TV pleasures”!


Now, you would know this…if you read the blog closely:


The show – So You Think You Can DANCE – brings my wife and I to tears so often we are embarrassed (but NOT with eachother).

The BEAUTY of being able to express yourself so well…through dance…is something both of us are totally new to (or we were…till a few years back).

Actually, many people said (when I was a younger “delikanlı) that I was not half-bad when I trip the light fantastic or shake the old hips (they were so much younger then). I just loved letting my hair down…and “did” what I do in the classroom – expressed MEself!

My darling wife, Nazlı Hanım (OMG! Google Translate is as awful as ever), was at the back of the queue…when this “stuff” was being dished out – same with cooking skills! Tell me again why I took a Turkish bride – no belly-dancing, no love of cooking (but she has done so much of it – for her family…day-in-day-out)!

…25 years of marriage is built on many things…many other things!

DarlingI SEE YOU (always will)…nuff said!


BUT, we both LOVE the show!

Heck, we will even lie (OK…tell little “fibs” – go to #07) to family members and friends (we love so much – sorry guys) and turn down dinner invitations…just to sit at home and watch these “kids” do their thing…together!

TOGETHER…that is the deal!

 Success (what it really looks like) TG ver


There’s a bit of the show that we both loveadore, even!

All the “kids” get to Las Vegasto dance for their lives…literally! They have to compete (over days and days) to get to the “Top 20”.


OK – as an EDUcator, I always hated “competitions”…schools pick the “best” kids (to “show off”), “coach” them to death, and take credit for what the kids would have done anyway!

BUT…this is a DANCE competition…and only the best can survive!




During “Vegas Week”, after days of grueling “battles”…there’s a TEAM-based phase. All these super-talented (and ambitious / hungry) “kids” are asked to listen to a bit of music and CREATE a new dance piece…in a group of 4 or 5!

This part of the show has Nazlı Hanım and I wiping our eyes for hours (and more than a little bit pissed off about all the “prima donas”).

The THING is...

…this phase is where CHARACTER “shines”.

These exhausted kids (after 3 or 4 days) have to stay up all nite and CREATE a routine…a routine that will make the judges “cry” (NOT just Tony Abi and Nazlı Abla)…and get them closer to that “magic Top 20”!

I cannot repeat what Nazlı Hanım says about Adam…and all his crying (he is BTW – a lovely guy)!


Of course, there’s a lot of “hype” and “fake drama” (Tony Abi and Nazlı Abla are not that “thick”)! BUT, these dancers try to do (and are tested on) what matters!

For a performance…that will bring tears to Tony Abi and Nazlı Abla’s eyes…these kids will find out what each dancer brings to the “game”, they will interpret the MUSIC (the classrom environment and LEARNers…for us TEACHers)…LEARN to ADAPT to eachother and work to make the “audienceFEEL (also the LEARNers…for we TEACHers)…

They stay up all night…they question…they fight! 

They work it out…they WIN!


UNcover Welcome NEO 02


In the world of EDUcation…we TEACHers also stay up all nite (hopefully not just to grade tests), we question…we fight (with our wives mostly…Nazlı Hanım refers to my string of desktops, laptops and mobile devices as “Tony’s mistresses”)!


Isolation (Wagner quote) Ver 03


But, what a lot of us do not do (enough) is…do all this “together”…


We “dance“, we do… but…many of us look at it, sadly,  as an individual sport!


Here’s what I thunk

I wish more of us realised that the notion of MY course is really a bit silly!

What matters (really matters) is the kidsand their LEARNing! More of us need to look at SCHool not as a series of courses (and their tests) – but rather as a number of years that make up the LEARNing “career” of a student.

From the mouths of babes (TG ver)

WHEN…HOW…WHY…did “we” LEARN “them” this!


If we did that, we might be more tempted to stop preparing individual lessons plans…and start looking for ways to produce the best LEARNing opportunites we can – the best LEARNing environments




Nigel…if you ever need a co-producer (cum judge) or two for SYTYCTNazlı Abla and I are in!

LEARNing (Adams quote) Ver 02

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