Updated: Dec 9, 2020
With each new school year, the anxiety and excitement build as we get closer to learning who our new students will be and meeting them for the first time. This year things will be so different for teachers across our nation. Some will welcome students back to traditional brick and mortar classrooms, while others will be online, and some will implement a hybrid combination of both. No matter the approach, building relationships, like any other year, is extremely important.
Here are a few quick ideas to get you started on those first days:
Introduce yourself to your students and their families through a letter, an email, a slideshow, or whatever format works for you. When you introduce yourself, make sure you show the personal side as well as the professional side - include pictures, talk about your family and your pets, include things you like to do.
Whether virtual or in the classroom, take time to get to know your students on the very first day. In the classroom, you can do this through Consensograms or Getting to Know You Activities. If virtual, you could use Padlet, Survey Monkey, Google Forms, Micropoll, or others.
Building a class community the first day is imperative for building relationships. Morning messages are a great way to build community, and I started those the very first day. Reading the book, The Important Thing, and then having students work in small groups to write their own The Important Thing about ____ Grade is . . . is a great way to begin building classroom community.