The first blog post is like the first day of school. It’s always a good idea to start with a getting to know you activity, right? I can’t bore you to tears with the syllabus on the first day. Then I’ll go down in history as the strict, scary teacher with all the rules and the words and the pages and…see, I already lost you. Let’s get to know each other instead! There are so many choices: scavenger hunts, partner interviews, about me collages, writing prompts.
An oldie but a goodie is two truths and a lie.
In case you missed the class on Touchy-Feely-Crap whilst enrolled in teacher training (I’m pretty sure that’s a legitimate course title), I’ll detail the instructions here. First, distribute notecards to students. They write two truths about themselves and one lie. Collect the cards, shuffle them up, and read them aloud to the class. Students have to guess whose card it is and which of the three facts is the lie. That’s it.
By the way, I just saved you a bajillion dollars you would have wasted on paying for a graduate course in TFC. You’re welcome.
Here’s why this activity doesn’t suck as much as some of the other getting to know you activities. First, you don’t have to get up and move. I hated when teachers made us switch tables every five minutes. Can’t a gal just get comfortable to learn?! Damn! Second, you really do get to know some interesting things about people this way. We learn, we laugh, and we don’t have to read the syllabus. Winning.
On a serious note– pay close attention because these don’t happen often– I start with getting to know you activities because I’m all about building relationships. I want students to know right away that they are valued, that I will strive for authentic relationships with them, and that they matter. Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. (Pretty sure I also learned that line in TFC 501. I should start charging tuition!) Anyway, I’ll try to do the same here on the blog. If I can’t be real, I shouldn’t be writing.
So for our purposes here, my card looks like this:
One: I am so glad you are here visiting my page. I hope I am able to make it a place of laughter and learning. If nothing else, you can laugh at me and learn from my mistakes, of which there are many.
Two: I will not write only about my successes and pretend that life as a high school English teacher is all sunshine and rainbows. Students have actually made me cry in the bathroom before (and by before I mean pretty much every day for the entire year of student teaching). Wait, I should clarify. They didn’t make me cry IN the bathroom. First, they made me want to cry, then I waited for an opportune moment when I could lock myself in a bathroom. We weren’t all in the bathroom together…and you know what? Moving on.
Three: I’m the best teacher in the world, and I only get everything right all the time. I never lose my cool, I always know how to handle every situation, my lesson plans are perfect, my students are perfect, and I should pretty much just write a book about what it takes to be the perfect teacher because I am just that awesome.
Can you guess which one’s the lie?