Any teacher knows that in order to be effective and (somewhat) respected, you have to take the time to research and acknowledge your clientele. If nothing else, conducting your reconnaissance will create an illusion that says,“hey this guy is neat! He’s asking about sports!” With this, there are a few tactics I use in getting to know my precious pupils, they range from pre-assessments and just basic conversations in the hall, but I always start the year off with an “interest inventory.” This is merely nothing more than a series of random questions that allow me to see the student’s likes, dislikes, positives, negatives, and overall “interests.” Get it? Questions range from “what do you prefer to be called?” to “what is your favorite movie?” to “what is something that few people know about you?”
In this bit of reach for humor, the inventory concludes with perhaps my favorite question"
“I think Mr. W looks like a _________________________.”
I can usually tell by facial expression who has arrived at this particular inquiry. After a few moments, I will typically get a few raised hands in which they ask “is this a trick question?” or “what do I put?” I simply reply “yes,” and “whatever you think.” Being the first appearance of this question, I was curious and even a little excited to see how my new crop of students (this was my 2nd year teaching) perceived me. I was sure their replies would be cordial and respectful, and my god was I wrong…
Here are but a few chosen entries, sorted by category:
- concerned monkey
While all are admittedly odd, where the hell did octopus come from? I’ll give you the others, though, because of my "Bilbo-y" lower body.
A king. Yes.
- science test
Ok. I DO have a banana costume, so technically, you’re right, smart-ass. And “science test?” You probably didn't even read the question.
- secret rock star
- super model
- movie star
- rock star
- football player
- well-dressed man
- super star
Yes. I am ALL of these things. ALL of them. ALL OF THE THINGS.
- teacher with a goatee
- mean guy
- O.J. Simpson
- little baby
- man that thinks he's a man but looks like he's in college
- a little childA goatee? This kid has a tremendous sense of irony, because I CAN’T GROW A BEARD! Other than that, I apparently look like a very young, very black, Heisman trophy winner and probable murderer.