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  • Teacher is proud to be 'weird'

    White City Elementary School teacher and author says classroom time should be fun and interesting
  • White City Elementary School's self-admitted "weird teacher" flourishes his short yellow wand, using the tip of its little, white-gloved hand to emphasize the syllables in the day's vocabulary lesson.
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  • White City Elementary School's self-admitted "weird teacher" flourishes his short yellow wand, using the tip of its little, white-gloved hand to emphasize the syllables in the day's vocabulary lesson.
    "Cau-tious-ly," Doug Robertson says, flailing his arms. "You don't just hold scissors and wave them around. You handle them cau-tious-ly."
    Next word — Ap-pre-ci-ate.
    "Use it in a sentence," Robertson challenges his charges, in a booming voice.
    Robertson's theater arts minor stands him in good stead as he deftly trades his wand for a mustachioed yardstick and wanders between aisles in his third-grade class.
    "I appreciate your smile," says 8-year-old Katheryne Galea.
    Robertson cracks a faux scowl and immediately denies smiling. Ever.
    "I never smile," he says, with a twinkle in his eye. "I don't know what you guys are talking about."
    Indeed, several scowling images of Robertson are plastered high on the classroom walls, staring down on the 20 students.
    "Children are ridiculous and fantastic," Robertson says. "I tell them I'm mean and that I never smile. And, of course, I do, so it cracks them up."
    Robertson's teaching philosophy for keeping students engaged in a carefully controlled-yet-chaotic classroom is laid out in his self-published book, "He's the Weird Teacher ... and other things students whisper about me."
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