Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day

"Time to practice your deductive reasoning skills," I announce, and twenty-six freshmen sit up straight, close their mouths, and fix their eyes on me.

It's the only time during the period when I don't have to wait for silence, the only time I don't have to remind them to be civil, the only time I've got every single student focusing on the same objective.

NOBODY sleeps through Encyclopedia Brown. Nobody interrupts, nobody stares out the window, nobody draws on the desks.

EVERYBODY listens and thinks and analyzes and hypothesizes. They rifle through their stores of knowledge (far bigger than they realized), running through science, sports, math, even punctuation; everything comes into play when Encyclopedia Brown in on a case. I never give hints--the most I'll do is reread the important clues until their little lightbulbs flash on and they shout out the solution. Highly unprofessional; Gil Grissom never raises his voice.

Encyclopedia Brown is the best artillery I've got in my (substantial) arsenal, and I will never, ever, stop loving the effect he's had on my students.

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