The first few days of school went pretty well this week. I’ve definitely had worse starts to the school year, so I can’t complain. This year, I tried a new tactic to begin my classes. Usually I do some type of getting to know the students exercises, which the students half-heartedly participate in. This year, I let them write down some stuff about themselves on an All About Me worksheet, and then, I made the rest of the class period about ME!
Well, sort of. What I did was a lesson called Look, Think, Ask. I brought in some important items from my house (a painting I painted, a silly hat I got on Beale St., an afghan that I crocheted for my grandmother before she died, a framed baby picture, and the race shirt I got from my first 5K). I told them that they needed to look at the items I was bringing out, think about questions to ask to find out more info about the items, and then raise their hands and ask the questions. This activity served two purposes. For them, it stressed critical thinking skills, and for me, it helped them see me in a different and more personal light. I think that if students can relate to you and see you not just as “teacher” but more as a human being, they will find it harder to be disrespectful or to act out in class. I hope this will make the first few weeks a smoother ride.
You know, work or other relationships might even benefit from the Look, Think, Ask activity if we only take the time to notice little things about those people and get to know them better by asking questions. After all, everyone likes talking about themselves, at least a little. I know there are certainly coworkers at my school that I haven’t gotten to know very well, even though this is the fourth year that I’ve worked there. Maybe I’ll mosey into some classrooms and see what i can Look, Think, and Ask about this year.