Let’s discuss the Horshack principle from a teacher’s point of view. If you’ve never seen an episode of Welcome Back Kotter, you may not know the character, Horshack, played by Ron Palillo – an overly eager, front row student who couldn’t stop raising his hand. Imagine a version of Anthony Weiner with no control over his body parts. Wait – Horshack is Anthony Weiner! Clearly these two have been separated at birth.
What do you think I’m thinking when I get a Horshack in my class? Here’s what my air bubble says. “I love students who raise their hand.”
In fact, regardless of how ridiculous a comment, I can almost always find a way to work it into the lesson. At this point, it has become a personal challenge to tackle even the most off beat comments and make them worthwhile. Case in point. You talk about Miley Cyrus’s tongue and I give a lecture on marketing teen celebrities.
But the question we really want to answer is whether this classroom interaction results in a higher grade. My answer – it depends on the teacher. Some teachers, and for good reason, dislike random comments, excessive hand raising and students that try to dominate the classroom. Most teachers prefer quality-over-quantity and will attempt to reward thoughtful insight
delivered strategically over the semester.
Here’s my recommendation. If you’re constantly striking a Horshack pose (see photo above) and your teacher consistently ignores you, do your GPA a favor and give your hand a rest.