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12 Questions To Ask Your Students On The First Day Of School

12 Questions To Ask Your Students On The First Day Of School

by Terry Heick

The premise here is simple enough, and I’ve written about this kind of thing before in greater detail (see 20 Questions Parents Should Ask Teachers).

You’ll likely learn their name, roughly be able to estimate their height, know what school they attended last, know what languages they speak, and get a sense of what school–at least so early in the year–seems to ‘mean’ to them. But what else should you know?

The big idea here is to use the first day (or week or month) to get to know the right things about your students.

We’ve shared 11 Simple, Back-to-School, Getting To Know Students Questions where Dawn Casey-Rowe takes a look at–well, the kinds of questions teachers might consider asking students above and beyond the common.

Below I’m going to offer up 12 more that you might consider. This is a scaled back version of 26 Questions Every Student Should Be Able To Answer.

How relevant they are depends on the student, their grade level, how articulate they are, how comfortable they are with thinking about thinking, and so on. Use at your own discretion, of course.

12 Questions To Ask Your Students On The First Day Of School

1. What do you love? What are you most proud of?

2. When are you at your best as a person? Student? Friend? Brother/sister?

3. How do you respond–emotionally, practically, etc.–when you’re challenged?

4. What do you need from me to be successful this year?

5. What does it mean to ‘understand’ something?

6. What should school ‘do’ for you?

7. What should you do with the things you know?

8. Are you a picky reader? What are your strengths as a reader (or ‘scientist’ or musician or mathematician, etc)?

9. Who are your heroes and why?

10. What do you want to learn about this year? What are you curious about? What can a person do with curiosity?

11. When are you most creative? Why do you think that might be?

12. What do you want me to know about you? What should I be asking you but I’m not?

Bonus: Do you think you’re a good student? A good learner? Is there a difference?

12 Questions To Ask Your Students On The First Day Of School