First day of class introductions

Creating a friendly and supportive community among your class's students is a worthwhile goal, but it is one that is difficult to achieve quickly. Here, from David Royse, are some "warm-up techniques" to try on the first day of class, to encourage the students to relax with, interact with, and learn from each other.

"Each student: 

  • Interviews a fellow student and prepares a 45-second introduction of the person on his or her right or left.
  • Informs the class of something very few people would know (e.g., once shook hands with the President). 
  • Describes the unique cultural experience or community in which he or she was raised. 
  • Shares a wish, hope, or fear about the class. 
  • Says, 'To know me, you would have to be familiar with the book ______'. 
  • Lists three adjectives that best describe him or her. 
  • Jots down a pet peeve or myth.
  • Describes any relevant events or experiences that might make him or her an 'expert' on some area (e.g., lived in Belize for two years in conjunction with Peace Corps assignment; spent last four years working midnight to dawn in a bakery)."  -DG

Source: David Royse. Teaching Tips for College and University Instructors: A Practical Guide.  Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2001. 59.