Tailgating for Teachers: Building Community before Day One

Credit: iStock.com/sshepard
Credit: iStock.com/sshepard
I’m hopelessly unathletic, which means I’ve usually observed the rituals at the so-called sports school where I teach from a distance—until recently, that is, when a student invited me to something called “tailgating.” My takeaway? The sense of belonging and excitement that I witnessed during this pregame ritual reminded me that pre-course rituals can do the same for our students. Read on for ideas about how to make the lead-up to a new semester count (no beer or body paint required).

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