This fun activity drives home to students the need for mutual respect and high expectations.
Instruct students to take out a sheet of paper. Have them write the title "The Perfect Teacher" at the top of the page.
Ask students to think for a few minutes about the characteristics they would use to describe "the perfect teacher." Challenge them to write as many statements as they can that would describe that teacher.
The above activity might be done independently. Give students 5 minutes or more to work on the activity. Then you might have each student pair up with another student to share their lists and create a combined list of "perfect teacher" attributes. Give them about 5 minutes. Then you might even have each pair of students join with another pair and combine their lists.
Invite students to share the attributes on their lists with the class.
The Next Day
After class, gather all the students' responses. Write or type them on a sheet of paper. At the start of the next class meeting, hand your prepared sheet back to the students...
Only one big difference: The paper you hand them with their ideas on it is now headed "The Perfect Student."
Use this as an opportunity to discuss that most of the characteristics they would like to see in the perfect teacher are the same sort of attributes teachers would like to see in the perfect students. Discuss the ideas of mutual respect and expectations and how employing those ideas will create a great classroom atmosphere that will last throughout the school year.
AssessmentYou might have students write a paragraph that sums up what they learned from doing this activity and participating in the follow-up discussion to it.
Linda Mauriello, Salem High School in Conyers, Georgia