Relief teaching brings with it many obstacles, which is why it’s vital to apply subtle strategies that will make classroom experiences more productive and enjoyable.

The key to relief teaching is to establish a rapport with the students right from the beginning. Regardless of whether you are working with primary or secondary age students, getting to know your class will be an invaluable tool to build the respect levels you will need to run a successful class.

The ‘Would you rather’ game (done right of course) is the perfect thought provoking ice-breaker game every relief teacher should have in their bag of tricks.

We’ve put together a list of engaging questions to ask for both Primary and Secondary aged pupils to help you start the day on the right foot. It helps you get to know the children, the children get to know you, plus it’s FUN!


Primary Students

  • Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?
  • Would you rather have one extra toe or one less finger?
  • Would you rather always have to ride your bike wherever you go or ride the bus?
  • Would you rather be able to hear any conversation or take back anything you say?
  • Would you rather publish your diary or make a movie about your most embarrassing moment?
  • Would you rather be rich and ugly, or good-looking and poor?
  • Would you rather go on a one week trip to a foreign country of your choice or take a four week trip around your own country?
  • Would you rather get $1000 right now or $50 a month for the rest of your life?
  • Would you rather have three eyes or two noses?
  • Would you rather always have your nose plugged or always have your ears plugged?
  • Would you rather have your friends be smarter than you or better looking?
  • Would you rather sing every word you speak or always speak in rhymes?
  • Would you rather spend every minute of the rest of your life indoors or outdoors?
  • Would you rather have to learn to walk all over again or learn to write all over again?
  • Would you rather have to get everywhere by crawling or stand on your hands when you are stationary?

Source: Jessica Smith, Substitute Teacher Trainer, STEDI.org       


Secondary School Students

  • Would you rather live ten different 100 year lives or one 1000 year life?
  • Would you rather be able to speak another language fluently or do difficult math in your head?
  • Would you rather go for a year without sugar, or a year without salt?
  • Would you rather not use Snapchat for a month or not use any of your social media for a week?
  • Would you rather always have to sing instead of speak or dance everywhere you went?
  • Would you rather lose your ability to speak or have to say everything you are thinking?
  • Would you rather have to listen to the same song music all of the time or not be able to listen to music at all?
  • Would you rather have friends that are smarter than you or friends that are much better looking than you?
  • Would you rather lose all of your money and valuables or all of the pictures you have ever taken?
  • Would you rather be able to see 10 minutes into your own future or 10 minutes into the future of anyone but yourself?
  • Would you rather be famous when you are alive and forgotten when you die or unknown when you are alive but famous after you die?
  • Would you rather live in the wilderness far from civilisation or live on the streets of a city as a homeless person?
  • Would you rather the general public think you are a horrible person but your family be very proud of you or your family think you are a horrible person but the general public be very proud of you?
  • Would you rather be alone for the rest of your life or always be surrounded by annoying people?
  • Would you rather never use social media sites/apps again or never watch another movie or TV show?
  • Would you rather have an easy job working for someone else or work for yourself but work incredibly hard?
  • Would you rather have a horrible short term memory or a horrible long term memory?
  • Would you rather be completely invisible for one day or be able to fly for one day?
  • Would you rather be locked in a room that is constantly dark for a week or a room that is constantly bright for a week?
  • Would you rather be poor but help people or become incredibly rich by hurting people?
  • Would you rather have a horrible job, but be able to retire comfortably in 10 years or have your dream job, but have to work until the day you die?

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