| Quote #1
Ben's students spoke of his intensity – the way he got so interested and involved in a topic that they couldn't help but be interested also. (1.14)
Ben truly loves what he does. He loves history and he loves teaching his students about it. His experiment, despite how badly it went, started as a way to get his students interested in the topic they were studying, World War II and the Holocaust. We can't blame him for that… can we?
| Quote #2
It was said that [Ben] brought a new outlook to his classes […] [and] tried to teach his students the practical, relevant aspects of history. (1.14)
When we really get interested in something, it's because we feel a connection to it – it's relevant to our lives in some way. Convincing students that events from the past are relevant to their present is the battle every history teacher faces. Ben's creativity helps him face this battle. Of course, with The Wave, he gets a little too creative.
| Quote #3
[…] as one of the ninth graders told him last week, "Sure, I know my homework is important, Mr. Ross, but my social life comes first." (1.20)
Ben isn't a fan of this statement made at the beginning of the novel. He dreams of a world where all students would rather study than party. But when his students start making The Wave (a school activity!) their main social gig, he wonders if he should have been a little more careful what he wished for.