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"Foot Stompers"

As both a student and an instructor in the military classroom, I have always appreciated the value of "foot stompers"

A "foot stomper" is something extremely important that you need to pay very close attention to because you will need to know, and be able to apply, that information in the future.

Origin of the term (based on a quick internet search): It was the eve of a critical exam for 800 highly select USAF officers at a highly competitive professional military college. The exam would have 50 questions. To make an A you needed to answer at least 47 of the questions correctly, possibly 48. Tension was HIGH. An instructor walked out on a huge wooden stage overlooking the 800 officers. He was there to review the material that the test would cover. When he went over material that was certain to be a question on the exam, he stomped his foot on the wooden stage. The officers clearly heard that stomp and knew they'd better write those words down, because they would very likely see that on the exam tomorrow. That material was known as a "foot stomper." The instructor covered a lot of material, but he had only about five "foot stompers." And sure enough, every "foot stomper" was a question on the exam.

A "foot stomper" is not only a way to highlight important information but also a great way to keep the attention of the class and get them refocused on the material.

Hi William! I wonder if an instructor might ask students to be "foot stompers" when, during a review, they hear or see something that they believe to be particularly important? When they stomp their foot, perhaps they would have to define or discuss the concept or application and then explain why it is important. Just a thought...

ED106 Facilitator

My students have come to learn that i beat on the board when i cover a topic that is going to be on the exam.

I would have never thought of "foot stomping". It is amazing how our student's pick up on the instructor movement.

i like this idea and it is true that the students do pick up on there instructor and with the profession that i teach that is a great trait for the students to take with them to the field

Thanks, Priscilla! To your point, adult educators assume multi-functional roles: mentor, subject expert, leader and motivator, planner and manager, instructional deliverer, evaluator, industry and school representative too name a few.

ED106 Facilitator

What a great way to engage students! I can envision a great pause from the instructor when a foot stomp from the students is expected but never comes...
a great way to incorporate some humor into to classroom as well.

I also use notes on the whiteboard and point and tap the board for the same definitely acts as a tension breaker and helps to get your point across.

Hi Daniel!

If you have read any of the other posts, I really like Jay Hollowell's post about suggesting student be part of the process.

As I introduce the course, students and myself on the firs day, I tell them if they hear me say or write on board 3 times "this is important" they better write that information down as they will see it again -"foot stomper"!

Good work!

Jane Davis
ED106 Facilitator

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