Guest Post: Melissa-Ann Pero
Last spring, I attended a Gay Straight Alliance Student Summit, and at a session, a presenter talked about how important it is for teachers to know a little bit of personal information about our students. I usually started off the year telling my students things about me, but after this conference, I decided to redo my first day of school routine.
But what do I want to know about the students in my classroom?
I scoured my PLN through searches, pages, and hashtags. I found many different options but decided the tools I needed to make the best connections included personal and school stuff. I tried to mix up what I asked and how I asked, and this is my final questionaire:
What name do you want me to use during class? (Do you prefer a nickname?)
Choose the pronoun you prefer
What is your favorite candy?
If you are allergic to any food, please let me know what it is.
What is the last thing you read that was over one full page long?
What are the qualities you look for in a good teacher?
What are you passionate about?
What are your strengths, and how can we utilize them for success in this class?
What is one thing you feel like you MUST learn in this class?
Besides passing in order to graduate or a final grade, what does success in this class look like to you?
What is your karaoke anthem?
Complete this sentence: I want to be remembered as . . .
I’ve learned what music my students listen to. What expectations students have for my course. What types of candy I’ll be stocking up on after Halloween. And most importantly, what things I can do to make them feel the most comfortable during class.
One student’s response of the pronoun preference question is, “I am genderfluid. I like any, especially he/they, and I really respect that you ask this.” That response alone gives me the confirmation that this has been a great way to start off my year!
Melissa-Ann Pero is a high school English teacher and yearbook advisor currently working on her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. She has presented at various district, area, and state conferences in Pennsylvania. She is a Google Level 1 Educator, an Apple Certified Teacher, a Keystone Technology Innovator, and a bit of an edtech junkie. She’s always looking grow her PLC so please follow her on Twitter @bshsmspero.