What would you like to do, if money were no option? How would you really enjoy spending your life? What do you desire?
I am always imagining and daydreaming about the first day of school as a real teacher. What should I do or say to start off the year in the proper way--a way that will encourage students to do amazing things and give their very best throughout the school year?
I think the above lines, from Alan Watts' "What If Money Were No Object?," would be an astounding prompt for a first writing assignment. That is if students took it seriously. And I believe that they would. Especially if I shared my own response first. The resulting write-ups could serve as motivation and a feasible goal for students. It would also serve as an authentic way to get to learn who my students are. It doesn't get more personal than learning an individual's secret desires. Even better, I'll be able to more accurately relate English content to students' interests and life goals. Score!
See the entire clip of "What If Money Were No Object?" below. It's definitely worth watching.
As for me, if money for no object, I would love to spend my time reading and
gushing over discussing books. It couldn't get much better than that. When I chose to become an English teacher, I believed that was as close as I could get and still be able to feed myself. Otherwise, I would love to visit bookstores (as I backpack all around the world!) and make random recommendations to strangers. "Hey. Heeey, pssst! You don't want to put that one back. You'd be missing out. It's a really good one. Let me tell you. It's about this girl, who . . . "