Last week we talked all about getting to know you as the teacher. This week it is time for us to think about how we can get to know these little ones that we will be seeing everyday for the next 180 school days! And don't forget getting to know their moms and dads is important too!
Getting to know the kiddos may be the MOST important thing that you can do during the first few days of school! Of course you need to learn names and faces, but we all know being a teacher is way more than that. You need to find out what makes each kiddo tick. What do they like? What do they HATE? What motivates them to do better? Who is their family and what does it look like? Are they worrying about things at home?
Now remember Rome wasn't built in a day nor will you get all of your answers day #1 (in fact you may not get many!), but the routine building and getting to know you activities you complete during the first week lay the ground work for building those relationships.
Here are two popular back-to-school sets that I use in my room. They have fun getting to know you games and activities for the K-2 set!
Check them out:
Fun with Firsties by Babbling Abby
Back to School Math and Literacy Fun by Deanna Jump
Sometimes getting to know families can be intimidating - it's one thing for me to build a relationship with my firsties, but sometimes their moms and dads make me nervous! Now that my oldest is headed into Kindergarten I get it! It's tough on both sides!
My best advise is to communicate! We always used to make a first week phone call to all families to welcome them and to let them know that their first grader was having a great week (always nice to have a positive first interaction!). We found though that since so many of our families worked we were talking a lot more to their voice mail! Now we send a check in email - works the same way - and we get more interaction back from families. Bonus is that now your email is in their system, so if they need to get in touch they have no excuses! :)
Good luck with your relationship building - I wish you all of the success in the world! Please feel free to share some other ideas in the comments! I am always searching for even better ways to start of the year!
And don't forget to check out what some of my friends have to say about this week's topic...