To kick class off, I had the students interview one another and introduce their partners to the class as an icebreaker, an idea I picked up from my own First Year Writing Department. From the first introduction, I could tell that this was going to be a completely different class from the typically reserved, P.A. students that I had the pleasure to have last semester. This class is much more diverse. They have different majors, for starters. They come from a variety of locations, not just the NY metropolitan area. I am excited to see what all of these students bring to the table. Diversity in the classroom is an awesome thing! It brings in fresh perspectives and provokes better classroom discussion.
After all was said and done, I had them write letters to themselves (and of course, read them all before I went home for the day). Again, the letters showed me what a unique group of students I have. I wonder what they will think about what they wrote when they get to the last day of class. It won't just be the last day of class, but the end of their first year of college.
To critique my own teaching, I need to slow it down on the first day of class. I tend to let my excitement get the best of me and forget that students can't absorb things when I quickly flip through them. For instance, I really should have taken the time to explain Blackboard. I took it for granted that even though these students were in their second semester of college, they might not have had teachers who used Blackboard. Timing, in general, is still my biggest challenge as a new teacher. I am curious how more experienced teachers get the timing right, especially on the first day of class when you don't know the chemistry of the group.
If you're a teacher, I'm wondering... what do you do on your first day of class?
If you're a student, I'm wondering... what do you expect from the first day of class?
And for everyone.... is there a most memorable or most effective icebreaker that you've experienced either in class or with some other group meeting?