It must be time for school to start as I just placed my order for magnets and postcards. Every year I get magnets to give to my families at the start of the year. Usually that magnet has my name, our classroom number, the school phone number, my email address, and the URL for our class website. This year I made a few changes:
I added a picture of me because my kids and families will only see me virtually. They won’t have the daily in-person interactions with me to cement me in their minds. Especially for families with multiple kids, I thought this might help them connect with me. I also added my cell number. I gave it to families last spring and when it was necessary it was definitely helpful. The school phone number isn’t terribly useful right now so I didn’t include it.
For a number of years now I’ve been sending postcards to my students. The goal has been to send every kid one postcard each quarter. My original thought, when I started doing this with first graders at least eight years ago, was that kids would love to get mail and their parents would inevitably see it too. So I try to remember something great they’ve done and send a postcard about it. I ordered quite a few for this year as I might want to send them more often since we’re doing school virtually. I redesigned it and I really like how it looks.
I’ve had a lot of trouble getting psyched for this school year. Ordering these was a positive step. It helped me focus on these new kids and families that I don’t know yet, but will soon. And it helped me focus on how I’ll get to know them and build community. As a friend recently said to me, we know what we’re doing, we just have to figure out the tools to do it a little differently. The basic skill set is already there.