KNOXVILLE (WATE) - In March, Colleen Howell was teaching her students at Maynard Elementary math skills. When the message wasn't getting through-- she asked for help.
"It's a very hard concept for the kindergartners to learn," Ms. Howell said. "As I was teaching the lesson I saw the deer in the headlights look. They were not getting it."
Initially, Ms. Howell turned to one of the students, Dale Campbell for a suggestion. Dale happens to be a fan of professional wrestling.
"With Dale's help, he raised his hand, he said we could do wrestling," Ms. Howell said. "So he gave me (the names) of two wrestlers-- John Cena and Kane."
Ms. Howell said she connected the concept of tearing apart numbers with the same approach pro wrestlers use in the ring. While the method seemed to work, a colleague at the school took the lesson a step further.
Math coach Christa Stewart had connections to one of the wrestlers-- and on Thursday Glenn Jacobs, AKA Kane, showed up at school to help with lessons and address the students during an assembly.
Kane, a wrestler for WWE, is the last guy you might think would inspire grade school students in math. But the kids responded. Unmasked, and more mild mannered, Jacobs said he was more than happy to help.
"With using me in the curriculum and helping kids understand numbers and counting and that sort of stuff, I couldn't pass it up," Jacobs said. "I think the kids understand that I'm the bad guy on TV but I think we should all conduct ourselves certain ways and treat other people certain ways."
The kids are apparently getting it. After Thursday's lesson they got to spend time with a guy who isn't quite as fearsome as his in-ring image would indicate.
And with his help, perhaps the numbers aren't either.