Every beginning of the year I give out a Student Survey. It is a good mix of funny, random, and serious questions for the students to answer. Some examples are “If you had one wish what would it be?; Who is your hero?; What is one life goal? What are you expectations from this class? What are you willing to do to achieve your goals in class?
But my favorite question is “Use the rest of the page to tell me about yourself. Define yourself, what’s going on in your life and your philosophy of life as best you can. Who are you?
The answers tend to be extremely informative. It helps me establish a better understanding of my students back ground. It lets me know what is going on in their lives, what they like, what they don’t like, their perception of life, etc.
Every year, I have at least one student who makes me want to cry and/or reminds me how blessed I am. I think it’s great when we as teachers let the kids teach us a thing or two. ( :