Back to School: Tips for Teachers
The smell of sharpened pencils, the familiar walk down the hallways—returning to school has a feeling. As you spot a student sporting a brand new backpack with the latest eVTOL aircraft as the logo, you are reminded of the new group of aviation students you’ll be getting to know this school year. Building relationships is the key to success in the classroom. What better way to start those relationships than with an icebreaker?
You may say, “what’s the point?” or “what a waste of time”…hold up. Here is the science behind it. It is human nature to gravitate towards people who are like us. People want to be liked, and there is less of a chance of being rejected if peers share common interests or experiences. With these small but crucial bits of time, teachers help aviation students create connections based on their mutual experiences. Listen to the feedback at the lunch table. “Did you have to do that silly game in Mr. D’s room?” If that’s the chatter, then you opened the year with success. However, students can smell cheesy from a mile away, so let’s start out the year with a few ideas for some not-so-cheesy icebreakers.
Jenga Giant – Put a question on each block. Examples of questions can include. What kind of pet do you have? or What is your favorite movie of all time? Have students take turns pulling out the questions and answering.
The Truthful Finish Line – Read off statements to students such as I already took my first flight, and for each one that a student successfully guesses is true, that student moves forward a step. The first one to cross the finish line is the winner.
This or That? – This is the school-aged version. Ask questions that are silly, would-you-rather questions. Would you rather go to Chick Fil-A or McDonald’s? Would you rather fly a drone or a plane? Would you rather have the same flight instructor or a different one each week? Then, have them present their arguments to others at their table (or seated around them) and see if they can change each other’s minds.
Whether you are a teacher in a school or a flight instructor at an FBO, Gleim welcomes you back! If you are looking for ideas for your STEM classroom, be sure to check out the STEM Hub. If you are looking to connect with others for ideas, resources, or support, visit the STEM LOOP FORUM. Gleim celebrates all aviation educators because you inspire the next generation of aviators.