Now, hopefully none of my students actually thought that I looked like this, but I did have long blond hair so I suppose this is a possibility. And the students I am referring to were in Jr. High School, so an even bigger probability!
But of course, this is not really about looks but about actions. Classroom learning can, and should, be a lot of fun. It makes the time go by more quickly, it can make dull and boring topics into something worth remembering, and it can create some wonderful memories that help to better connect new information to old.
Finding something unique about a student that could be used again and again as conversation starters, or points of comments or fun, allows for the students to feel special in their own unique way. They feel connected to their instructor, because the little things are remembered. Sort of like one big annoying family!
For example, I had a student who loved to shop so each Monday I would enter the room and try to guess what she had on that was recently purchased and make compliments on it. Not that she bought something each week, but it made her feel singled out in a good way whenever I would guess what it was and she was able to gush about the great deal she made. If she said that what I pointed out was old, I'd ask her if I could have it so she could go get a new one! Just silly chitchat that gave us something to laugh about, But later on if that student zoned out for whatever reason, I would ask if she was fantasizing about her next shopping trip for example, to bring her back into the classroom by having a conversation with me, and then turning her attention back to the lesson. So, even though I was in essence chastising my student for losing focus, it was done in a fun way that brought her back in and kept the classroom positive.
But of course, one can't tease students without being willing to be teased in return, and I always gladly set myself up for it. I regularly tell embarrassing stories whenever they relate to what we are discussing in the classroom, completed with something I learned from the experience. I let them know that being perfect is not nearly as much fun as being imperfect and that everyone makes mistakes, and that doing so is necessary for making improvement. I make funny faces, use odd idioms (followed with explanations and encouragement for them to try it out with Canadians outside the classroom. It is so much fun to see students warm up to this and to hear their stories and share in their laughter.
Lastly, I try to always keep them on their toes and guessing, so things don't start to become too routine. When starting off on homework answers, I would sometimes say that we were going to go from tallest to shortest, so to get it figured out and then to not forget their place in the line. Sometimes it was youngest to oldest, or vice versa, which always brought laughs at some of the obviously false ages being used. At times I would look at a student but call another's name (with pointing to the student whose name I called so the student I was looking at didn't think I just got their name wrong) to answer the question instead. Other times I would choose a "go-to" for the day when they were all on the quiet side. If I asked a question and no one answered, it immediately went to my "go-to" who would try really hard to get others to answer their own questions. It made for a lot of fun with good-natured teasing, and no, the go-to didn't have to answer everything. Sometimes I would even give them a chocolate or a treat at break for having done such a good job. That always made the others jealous :-)
So, my point here is to have fun and a few laughs to enhance everyone's learning and memory retention in the classroom.