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Behind the Scenes: Dr. Noble’s Legendary Lip-Synch

Previously published Jun 2. 2021

Previously published Jun 2. 2021



Could you please introduce yourself?


Hi, I’m Dr. Noble. I’m a physics teacher, and I’ve been teaching physics at BISV for about two years. Before that, I taught at BASIS Independent McLean.


Can you tell us why you decided to choose the song you lip-synched to during the pep rally?


Last year, at one of the assemblies, there was a lip-synch battle, and for that, I got a lot of my students in my homeroom involved, so we spent homeroom time preparing for that. When we transitioned to remote learning last year, we did everything asynchronously. I was sending out videos every day, and it was important to me that I made it through to the end of the year with a video a day for my honors physics class. I was running out of ideas! Then, one of my students suggested that I do a lip-synch video for one of the videos that I sent to them, and I went okay, what song? Then that student picked the song, and I spent about a day making the lip sync video. So that’s how it got made. This year, I tried to get my club interested in the lip-synch competition, but they were not interested in doing one, so I sent the coordinator an email saying sorry my kids didn’t want to do it, but here’s one that I did previously. I didn’t expect anything to come of it, but it got blown up into something shown at the pep rally.


Were you surprised by the student body’s reaction?


I was. I expected some of my former students would’ve reacted strongly, but I didn’t expect everyone to react so positively.


Do you think virtual pep rallies have been as successful as in-person ones?


I think they have been successful. One of the things I like about the virtual pep rallies that we don’t get as much from the in-person ones is that every student has an opportunity to speak through the chat. As long as everything is appropriate, I think it’s great and creates more interactivity.


What are your thoughts on BISV school culture as a whole?


In general, I really like it. I very much miss being in class and being able to interact with students, though. It’s almost been a year, and as much as I try to create more dialogue, it’s harder to do on Zoom because you don’t have many one-on-one interactions with students. I can’t just say hi to a student in the hallway. The elements of the culture that I see in general are outstanding—I think students are excellent at respecting differences and interacting with each other in respectful ways. As a teacher, I don’t get to see everything that goes on, but the things I do see tend to be really positive.


What are some things we can do to strengthen it?


The things that students can rally around can be different by the school. Where I once went to high school, the big thing was the football team. We [BISV] still have sports, though they’re different sports. At BASIS Independent McLean, all school pride and culture in ‘what is the school is good at’ revolved around math. I’m serious. It doesn’t have to be a team; it doesn’t have to be football, MathCounts, Robotics Team, or anything like that. It can be, but the students determine what that thing is. The other aspect that comes into play is that middle school and high school were separated when I went to high school. Many people knew each other from before, but you go to a new building, a new place, and look for commonalities at BISV; many students are together from 5th grade growing up. A lot of our students might not be looking for commonalities because they’ve already found them. I don’t know if I have a great answer for you, but many great things are going around this school that I didn’t see in other places. Some of the things in our culture that the administration drives that we haven’t seen for a little over a year now are food truck days, which have had a hugely positive contribution to the school. I think everyone gets excited about those days. There are many different dance teams and clubs in which students seem like they’re the driving force, putting stuff together and practicing in their free time, which is fantastic. If you look at a high school you see on a TV or a movie, that whole school seems to revolve around their thing a lot of times. The reality is that no matter what high school you go to, not everyone’s going to care about that thing, right? This focal point idea of schools is a little Hollywood—it’s something that Hollywood tries to convince us that we need. From what I see, it seems that people have their friends, have their interests, and the things they do together; that’s the kind of thing you’re going to remember high school for—your friends and the things you did together. The school stuff is secondary. Plus, where would we even play football? We don’t even have a field. You can’t do it in the parking lot.


How does it feel being a teacher on Zoomtopia?


Kate, my wife, has a job for which she can work from home regularly. I’ve seen her work from home for years. It was always like, oh, I’ll never get to do that, and I was okay with it. Then I got to do that. The idea that I’m getting to do something that I never thought I’d be able to do helped keep my spirits up at the start. At first, it was a lot of work: I don’t necessarily know if it was hard work, but it took a long time to figure out what I was doing, to try different things, to fail at stuff, and try something else that worked to establish the way I was going to teach online. Switching to the live version of teaching is comparable to what it is in person, and at this point, I’ve been doing it long enough to adjust and change things on the fly. The big important part that gets lost in remote learning is being able to read a classroom quickly. It’s harder for me to tell how students are doing—I can’t look over their shoulders to see if they’re taking notes, and there’s almost like a feeling in a classroom when people are confused. Now students are universally muted unless they’re called on, making it a lot harder to gauge how well students understand what I’m saying. Previously, since I was in a science classroom, I would never let my students eat in the classroom. There’s no way: partly because it’s a science classroom and somewhat because I can hear them chewing the whole time. Now, it’s not a big deal if students are eating since they can mute themselves.


BONUS QUESTION: Can you tell us about your cat?


I always thought of myself as a dog person, but when I met my wife, who wasn’t my wife at the time, obviously, she had a cat. His name is Tigh, so I had to adopt him to keep dating her.




At this point, you’ve been working on our classes and the material for almost a year. I’m not saying don’t study, but trust yourselves, know that you know the material. The day before the test, have some good rest, have a good breakfast, and take a break. It is essential to be refreshed when you take it.

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Alice Zhou, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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