I got a new group of students in some of my classes on Friday, marking the start of the third marking period at school. One of my favorite ways to introduce myself to the students and to share with them what the class is all about is to let them lead the discussion. I gave them dry erase boards and asked them to write a question about the class, the language, my expectations or something about me that they would like to know, within reason. I told them that it had to be something that I would be comfortable answering, “You may not ask how much I weigh, it is none of your business!” That always gets a chuckle.
Can you guess where this is going? I made it through three out of four new sections of students without getting THE question. You know, that question friendly people who are innocently trying to get to know each other often ask? Honestly, I hadn’t given the possibility of having to answer THE question any thought. Middle school students typically want to know things like, “How much homework do we get?”, “Have you been to the Eiffel Tower?”, “How many tests are we going to have?” During my last class of the day, when we were about three quarters of the way into the class, I got THE question. It was her turn, she was a cute little girl wearing a pink sweatshirt with her pretty brown hair swept into a pony tail. She was interested in getting to know me a little better, bless her heart. She had THE question neatly displayed on her dry erase board and read out loud so we could all hear, “Do you have any kids?”