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Good days, bad days
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 12/15/2014

The following is an installment in "The Bouchard 101", a series featuring "Ice Breaker's" designed to promote training awareness and capabilities in the corrections industry.

In formula based introduction icebreakers, the first three elements are basic information bits: name, position, and how many years of service. Element number four is the conversation point.

Sometimes, breaking the ice can be achieved well by requesting two opposing ideas. This is easily done by using a formula based introduction icebreaker. In this case, you ask what the self-introducing person considers a good day (4a) and what they consider a bad day (4b).

The instructor will write or project this on a board.
  1. Name
  2. Position (or minor in college if this is a Criminal Justice class of pre-professionals)
  3. Years in corrections agency (or as student)
  4. My idea of a good day is…(4a), My idea of a bad day is…(4b)
The instructor will play the first round:
My name is Joe.
I am a corrections librarian.
I have 21 years of service to the agency.
A good day always starts with a cup of coffee. A bad day is when I cannot get everything done that I need to do.

In turn, have each person introduce themselves with these four elements. Have a recorder capture these on a marker board or by other means. The lists should be visible for the class. The good and bad should be in columns for a comparison. Once completed, have the class look for themes.

The formula based introduction icebreaker is a useful too because of its versatility. The first three elements are standard and can remain the same for many other uses. The fourth element requires a bit of imagination. The fourth element allows us to learn a bit more about the people in class. The sky is the limit with the replaceable fourth element. With this particular icebreaker, we can learn and express what comprises a good day and a bad day.

Joe Bouchard is a Librarian employed with the Michigan Department of Corrections and a collaborator with The International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP). He is also the author of “IACTP’s Corrections Icebreakers: The Bouchard 101, 2014”. The installments in this series include his opinions. The agency for which he works is not in any way responsible for the content or accuracy of this material, and the views are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of the agency. While some material is influenced by other works, all of the icebreakers have been developed by Joe Bouchard.

Visit the Joe Bouchard page

Other articles by Bouchard:


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