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Gergen’s current events

How the "silver fox" brings life to the classroom

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Let’s be honest, going through the same routine of typing/writing notes, then taking a test can become boring throughout all measure. This can cause students to simply lose interest and stop caring about the class. Some teachers show movies and some give study halls, but there is one teacher who does something different; that man is Mr. Mike Gergen.

Mr. Gergen plays an educational game called current events, where he asks his students questions in geography, history, politics, sports, and many more subjects. The object of the game is combining healthy competition and to keep his students tuned in to the world around them.

“Current events is supposed to have a positive impact that links classroom material to current and historical events,” says Mr. Gergen. “The competition also brings a good change of pace for the classroom.”

Current events students (from left to right) Duncan Rackers, Max Dobler, Tim Doren, Nick Niehaus, and Jack Streicher

During this game, students break up into five teams and go through three levels of questioning. The first level consists of going group by group asking each team a question, level two is the same questioning format but any team can answer, and the third level is betting a percentage of the points you have on one final question (basically, the game is group Jeopardy).

As a member of Mr. Gergen’s Government/Economics class, I can say that these games bring an intense, but yet fun atmosphere to the class.

“Some of the games can get heated as some rivalries have even developed in class,” says Ryan Ruehl. “Rivalries definitely sell, so each game brings a new entertainment to it.”

The origins of this beloved game have been traced back to when Mr. Gergen wasn’t even teaching at Elder. “It was started by myself and another teacher at Purcell Marian,” says Mr. Gergen. “Then I brought it to Elder, so the game has probably been around for 25 plus years.”

If anything lasts for 25 years at a school, then it must mean that the student body as a whole really enjoys it. It not just the current events game that brings his classes together, but it is also the enthusiasm that Mr. Gergen brings for every class.

Current events takes on the senior class (photo from Clipartfest.com)

“His teaching methods are very efficient,” says Chris Vinel. “I really enjoy how he brings in topics to class without using it straight out of the textbook and still making sure we learn something.”

Gergen’s lectures are brought to life with things like his legendary fist pump, the fact that he walks around class with a golf club or tennis ball, and using the help of his T.A. (teacher assistant).

Some teachers, in general, are set in stone on teaching their subject in the exact way they like it without even realizing the interest of their students. While teacher is ultimately the boss, needs must be met on both sides. There is no doubt that the teacher-student relationship between Mr. Gergen and his students is as strong as ever because of things like current events that he brings to the table.

 

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