Whether it’s the first day of school or the last, a new year means a new school year. But do you know what to expect? For starters, you’re probably wondering what your classmates are like, how your teachers will be, and how your school will be different from last year. Of course, you’re also probably wondering how you’ll fit in. Well, the first few weeks are a good time to get a general idea of how you’ll be doing in your new year. Here are 26 questions to ask students in the first week of school.
So you’re new to teaching and you’ve been called into a meeting with your colleagues to find out what you’re in for. You’ve been told to come prepared for the meeting, so you’ve decided to go over 26 questions you should ask your students in the first week of school. After reading this, you’ll be sure to impress your colleagues with your teach-able guts.
As I was scrolling through my Twitter feed today, I came across this list of questions that every student should be able to answer. The list was compiled by Terry Hake and covers a wide range of topics related to student learning. I consider this list excellent material to use with your student during the first week of this school year. Have students work together to answer the questions in this handout. Of course, students will not have answers to some questions, but that’s okay, they’re not supposed to answer all the questions anyway.
The importance of asking questions in pedagogy is twofold: First, it allows students to express themselves and actively participate in the formulation of their learning needs. It also allows them to engage in self-reflection and meta-thinking, both of which are essential for students’ cognitive growth. Second, student responses are a goldmine of feedback that teachers can use to gain insight into learning needs, learning expectations, and most importantly, into the inner world of students. This knowledge can be used to develop learning materials and content that meet the needs of students.
Here are 26 questions that students should be able to answer.
1. What do I need to know about you?
2. What do you want from me more than anything else in the world?
3. What does success in the classroom mean to you?
4. What do you know about how people learn?
5. What’s the most creative thing you’ve ever done?
6. How can technology be used for learning?
7. What does it mean to understand something?
8. When was the last time you solved a problem?
9. How do you meet expectations?
10. What is your proudest moment?
11. What do you want to know?
12. Are you a difficult reader? What are your strengths as a reader?
13. What is your personal philosophy?
14. When is the best time for you to write?
15. What is worth understanding in depth?
16. What are your best habits as a thinker?
17. What is the most important thing in your life?
18. What does learning have to do with number 17?
19. Where does your inner motivation come from?
20. Who are your heroes or role models?
21. Why are you studying (indicate your content area here)?
22. What are you good at that nobody knows?
23. What do teachers sometimes misunderstand about you as a student?
24. What does it mean to learn?
25. How do you respond to complex texts or digital media?
26. What can you do if I stay away from you this year?
Frequently Asked Questions
What are good questions to ask students?
What are some of the things that you like to do? What are some of your favorite books? What are some of your favorite movies? What are some of your favorite songs? What are some of your favorite foods? What are some of your favorite hobbies?
What questions should I ask my first day of school?
What is your school’s dress code? What are the school’s rules for cell phones? What are the school’s rules for food? What is your school’s policy on drugs and alcohol? What is your school’s policy on bullying? What are the school’s rules for social media? What is your school’s policy on weapons? What is your school’s policy on dating? What are the school’s rules for overnight guests?
What should students say on the first day of school?
“I’m excited to be back in school!”