Getting to really KNOW your students

As you begin your year, focus on those relationships in your classroom. Yearbook and newspaper classes are the ultimate group project, and, let’s be honest, kids don’t know how to effectively do a group project. Heck, most adults don’t either. 

Celebrate everything

This year, before we began a single thing, we celebrated. This last year was so hard for students and teachers. Everyone needs a win. I bought these tiny trophies and encouraged the students to create their own award. It was so effective. Students celebrated all sorts of things and it gave us a peek into what they are proud of. 

Personality tests

Personality tests are a great way of getting to know each other. I cannot recommend the Adobe Creative Types quiz enough. One of my favorite parts is it talks about compatibility of types so students can see who they can learn from and grow with. The quiz also talks about “untapped potential” which is a fantastic opportunity to talk about areas for growth rather than weaknesses. Instead of students focusing on what they “can’t do” or what they’re “not good at,” they can move forward with a growth mindset. 

Staff communication

This is the perfect time to start talking about staff communication. Pick a platform like Band to organize your group. One of the first conversations we have is about appropriate communication. The group talks about quiet hours, etiquette, etc. 


Around this time is when I like to teach email etiquette as well. Our students are used to communicating digitally, but it’s important they learn how to control tone, be succinct and navigate tough conversations. It’s also very surprising to learn how many students don’t how or why to use the CC or BCC email functions.

Also be sure to check out out our “First Week Back” post for some tips on the “About Me” slide and community agreements!

You can also now leave a comment on the blog with your Facebook account, so we’d love to hear what other kinds of activities you are doing with your staff during the first few weeks of school! 

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