The Power of Gooooozfraba


“On the website it says to use a minimum of three sources and a minimum is usually a C so to get an A….”

I pressed my lips together and closed my eyes inhaling deeply through my nose.  The student stopped mid sentence aware that he had somehow irked me.  The opposite of his intention.  I rubbed my hands together in a Mr. Miyagi style and then placed them on his shoulders and uttered the magic word.  Goooooooozfraba.

It’s a silly thing I say when I want to diffuse something in my class.  Too loud? Gooooooozfraba.  Too anxious?  Gooooooooozfraba.  Too serious or sad? Gooooooooozfraba.  Find any student who has ever been in my class and say this magic word to them and watch the light of recognition on their face.

Now in full disclosure I did not make up this word.  It’s something that Jack Nicholson’s character says in the movie Anger Management.  It’s a silly fake word but it stuck with me, and it works.

Let’s focus on all the learning you’d like to do about the Ancient Greek city states.  If you’re driven by the desire to know the grades will follow.

He smiled and walked away both relieved and annoyed.  It was not the answer he was looking for, but it was the one he needed.

This entry was posted in Classroom Environment, Self Reflection, Slice of Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Power of Gooooozfraba

  1. elsie says:

    Sounds like a perfect word, but someday I want to hear you say this word, not just read it. :-)

  2. It must be hard to teach to impart learning. Everything these days seems driven by test results. Love the signature word and the way you wrote your slice.

  3. Two years and finishing strong... says:

    What a riot and it really makes sense to me. I’m trying it…I’m sure I’ll need it tomorrow. xo

  4. Tara Smith says:

    Perfect word, too – saying it, hearing it, knowing it. Like Elsie, next time we meet, I’d like for us to greet it each other this way!

  5. Linda Baie says:

    Love the story, and this ending: “It was not the answer he was looking for, but it was the one he needed.” Sounds like you have just the right word for getting there!

  6. elle1955 says:

    A wonderful answer. He will realize that some day.

  7. Love the new word! How great that you have found a way to diffuse a tense situation with a little humor. :)

  8. I love this! Full disclosure – I was that kid. I always wanted to know exactly what would get me that “A”… (or A+). Now I’m a teacher and I fight against that same issue with my students.

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