How Not To . . . Teach via YouTube

As a 15-year veteran of the classroom (Mathematics Teacher), I would often become incensed by administrators entreaties to “entertain your students.” The thought that went through mind when I heard this was;

First – Fuck that!, and

Second – Fuck you!

Just don’t do it. If your goal is to entertain, then by all means, entertain. But, if your goal is to educate, do not attempt to entertain your students, regardless of what some so-called experts say. Here is a particularly egregious example of a YouTube how-to series. (I do own the product of interest in these videos, and I do use it. It does work. These videos do not.)


Phan Thi Kim Phuc – the Napalm Girl


This photograph, known popularly as Napalm Girl, is of Vietnamese-Canadian Phan Thi Kim Phuc running from her village of Trang Bang after a napalm attack by South Vietnamese aircrews on June 8, 1972. The photograph was taken by Associated Press (AP) photographer Huynh Cong ‘Nick’ Ut. This is the “cropped version” of the historic photograph, with other AP personnel standing to the right of the scene removed. Napalm Girl won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize in Spot News Photography, and was also chosen as World Press Photograph of the Year for 1973. It is, in my opinion, one of the two most powerful photographs taken during the US led assault (11/1955 – 04/1975) on the nation of Viet Nam.

Ansel Adams – The Tetons and the Snake River


This photograph of the Tetons and the Snake River was taken by Ansel Adams in 1942. Why is this particular photograph historic? It isn’t a necessarily historic photograph on its own, but as part of Adams’ corpus, I think it represents his mastery of Black and White photography quite well. As a practicing photographer since 1980, I have seen many, possibly most, of Adams’ published photographs, and this is one of my favorites.

Ansel Adams is famous, at least among photographers, as one of the developers of the Zone System, a method of exposing, developing, and printing photographs in order to control the scene’s dynamic range in the final positive image.