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7 Ways for Teachers to Get to Know Their Students at the Beginning of the School Year
Getting to know students at the beginning of the school year is one of the best investments of time that a teacher can make. When you take the time to learn about your students, you are letting them know from the very beginning that you care about them as people.
The more students and teachers know about each other the better their relationship will be.
Here are some tips and resources for getting to know your students.
- Have the students create a name tent. I usually have them bring their tent to class for the first couple of weeks. They write the version of their name they prefer on the tent and draw a picture that connects to them in some way. Asking questions about the picture is a good conversation entry point.
- Students create a notecard that has their name on it and a few pictures that connect to them in some way. I often ask them to record one or two “Big Dreams” they have for themselves. I use the cards throughout the year to make teams, and lab groups and t0 randomly select students in a fair way. It doesn’t happen too often, but I love it when a student requests to make a new note card because they just aren’t the same person they used to be 😀.
- I teach 8th-grade science and social studies. One of the best ways I’ve found to learn a little about all of my students is to have them complete a survey in science class. Here’s the survey I’m going to use this year.
- 6 Exercises to Get to Know Your Students Better - and Increase their Engagement: The identity portrait is an activity I might try this year with my students.
- 5 Things You Must Know About Your Students After the First Week of School - Of the five items on this list getting to know student family situations is the one I could improve upon the most.
- Here’s an extensive resource I put together of resources and activities to help build positive classroom culture and promote belonging. Some of these activities can be used at the beginning or throughout the course of the school year.
- 8 Ways to Build Relationships with Students to Start the School Year Off Right - Learn names, listen actively, ask questions, assume the best, prioritize classroom management, give students voice and choice, be quick with praise, and Be a Goldfish.