Mixing humor with history in the classroom, to keep kids interested

Tools for Teachers
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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - For a lot of students, studying history can be, well, boring.

One local teacher acknowledges that up front, and has a unique way of reaching out to teenagers to keep them interested.

Jared Winkles uses humor to make an impact.

What kind of humor?

Tenth grader Devon Thomas said it's mostly a lot of jokes. Some might even be considered off-color.

Thomas said the laughter breaks up the day; making it easier to get through class. She says she remembers the jokes and, in turn, remembers a lot more of the history being taught.

"You'd think he's more reserved but then once you get to know him he's more "out there," Thomas said of her teacher, "I relate to him personally... I feel like him sometimes."

Relating personally is what it's all about, according to Winkles. "Whether you're a coach or teacher or whatever," Winkles noted, "It's good to have good relationships so they know you're there for 'em."

To honor Winkles for making an impact, WHNT News 19 showed up at Guntersville High School recently, to surprise him with a Tools for Teachers Award.

He was pretty shocked, and when we put him on the spot to tell us a couple of his infamous jokes, he clammed up. "I can't really remember any..." Winkles trailed off while laughing.

One thing he had no problem doing?

Thanking Thomas, with a big hug, for nominating him and for keeping the win a secret for several weeks before the surprise.

Winkles said he may use the $319 prize to get a new board for his classroom.

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