Teaching is nothing without relationships. That might not sound particularly groundbreaking..but it took me quite a few years before I realized that. It took me even longer to realize that relationships with ALL students were important and that without being 100% there for 100% of my students, I wasn’t as good a teacher as I had believed.
I’ve blogged before about the power of developing relationships and in this post from last year I shared much of what I aim to deliver when the new school year starts. There’s the ROPES activity for co-constructing class expectations, an amazing back-to-school survey from Panorama Education, reflection questions for students, ice-breakers plus links to additional resources. It’s a must read!
In this blog post I’m sharing a simple document that I will push out to students in advance of our first week together. Created in CANVA, and shared in CANVAS, our LMS, it’s an awesome way for students to get to know me a little better. The whole thing took me less than an hour to create and I encourage you to get creative, perhaps try something new, and have fun sharing a little about yourself with students so that you can have a more productive and fruitful time together.
This 8 page document was created in CANVA. Canva gives free access to advanced features to all teachers, and you can find out more about CANVA FOR EDUCATION here.
Each page is a simple template, with images that serve as ‘clickable’ links to access more information about me. I share information about my teaching experience and an insight into my family. There are links to books I read, and music I like, plus I have embedded a 90 second video (screen recoded in Zoom). This will be the first time students hear my accent, and how I pronounce my last name. Names are VERY important to me, as this blog post suggests.
Once each of the 8 pages were finished, I exported the document as a .png file, and dragged each page into a separate slide on a google slideshow. You can embed hyperlinks into each slide quite easily. I do this by inserting a shape over the area where I want the hyperlink to be. Add the link, and make the shape and its outline transparent. Super simple, and effective.
Have fun clicking on the presentation below, maybe even checking out the awesome survey from Panorama Education to find five things that you and I have in common.
If you’re not a Google user, it is also possible to use CANVA to create interactive PDF’s, perfect for creating choice boards. I had fun creating interactive documents last year, and you can find some of my creations here.
Here is a copy of my ‘Meet the Teacher’ slideshow in PDF form, which can be navigated on iPad/kindle or any other document reader.
I was inspired to create one of these virtual ‘Meet the Teacher’ files last year when the virtual classoom/bitmoji craze was everywhere on social media. At that time I collated some amazing examples from teachers and you can find them here in this post.
Have a great school year! Last year was challenging for teachers and students alike, and although this year isn’t the return to normal that we were all hoping for, I think that we will all be better equipped to serve the needs of our students.
Great back-to-school blog posts that you will LOVE, include:
Building Your Health Curriculum by Amy Prior
5 Tips for Better Sleep. Perfect for your transition back to waking to an early alarm!
Advice to a New Teacher. Starting your teaching career? Check this out from Renee Reedhardt.
Finally, Amy Dawson shared a powerful poem that you simply MUST read and share, in A Poem About Stories.