Let’s be real: students who have a teacher with a sense of humor learn better. Educators around the world agree on this. That’s why incorporating a fun element to one’s teaching approach is highly encouraged. And that’s exactly what John Zadrozny does, in his own way! The Canadian science teacher used to teach eighth- and ninth-grade science at an all-girls school in Bangkok, Thailand. Here, he noticed that his students liked drawing on their papers, so he decided to join in on the artsy fun by announcing a rule. With this rule in place, their teacher doodles additional art on their initial work.
“I told my students I had one rule: If you draw something I will add to it.”
Normally, you’d feel dread at seeing a lot of red ink marks on your submitted paper. But not Zadrozny’s students. They actually seemed to really look forward to it! The students mostly draw using pencil while their teacher doodles using only his red ink pen. The enthusiastic teacher went on to show off his artistic collaborations on his Tumblr page, Squeezymo.
This clever teacher doodles on his students’ papers
Of course, since the imagination of his students is basically limitless, Zadrozny never knows what to expect. But he always delivers. “You’ll notice my tendency here to reverse the theme of an image,” he wrote on his Tumblr page. “An overdressed teenager sulking about a text message? Now they are on ice skates. A floating head with her lively fairy friends? Quarantine.” Since his students’ drawings are often random, Zadrozny also doesn’t take it too seriously either. It’s all lighthearted fun.
During their time together, the students and teachers have doodled almost everything from popular characters like Snoopy, dinosaurs, cars and plenty of original characters. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of these doodles. However, the drawings aren’t so random that the teacher can’t keep track of them all. In fact, he’s managed to successfully categorize all the fun artworks. “My categories include things like silly, cute, personal favorites, elaborate and mean,” he explained. “Each time I try to put these together I try to mix these in even proportions.”
The doodles have earned plenty of praise from fellow teachers
When a popular entertainment website picked up the story about the teacher, praise for his efforts came pouring in. Some lauded him for figuring out a way to organically form a bond with his students through his unorthodox and laidback approach. Sadly, Zandrozny is no longer teaching in the all-girls school in Bangkok. As per his last update, Zandrozny has taken a position at a school in Seoul, South Korea. And yes, the eccentric teacher draws on his students papers still!
We certainly understand the appeal of doodles to the students. Receiving a unique drawing or note from your teacher is certainly a good experience to have. When you’ve got doodles to look forward to, you wouldn’t dread seeing your paper covered in red. In fact, you just might hope for it. Which among Zandrozny’s doodles did you like best?