Creative classroom introductions
The first day of school with a new class can be stressful. Although we can’t help you write your syllabus, Kami can help with the process of your students getting to know you.
The first time you meet your new learners should be memorable. You can make a good first impression in a fun way that they’ll remember and hopefully help new students with their own self-introductions.
Whether you’re a new teacher looking for a creative way to introduce yourself, or an old pro just looking for something more than, “Good Morning class, my name is…”, we’ve got some creative ways and a few templates that can turn your intro into a great icebreaker.
Everyone knows the value of a good first impression. As they say, you only get to make one. Why not make it something fun and memorable? Time Magazine ran an article based on several expert testimonies about what constitutes a good first impression. They had some obvious (and not so obvious) tips.
- Adjust your attitude
Students will pick up on whatever energy you bring into the classroom whether it be positive or negative. There will always be things you can’t control that will affect your day, but you can always focus on the things that you do have control over. It can be a great help to your classroom management if your first appearance in a new class is one of you on a good day. It might be as simple as making sure you get a good night’s sleep and a decent breakfast before the first day of school.
- Search for common ground
Everybody enjoys people with whom they have things in common. That’s obvious. But how to establish common ground with a room full of teenagers? You could try having music that you enjoy playing as they enter the room and see who recognizes it. Or maybe wear a t-shirt with a pop culture reference on it. Go for something that you enjoy (that’s age appropriate!) and see which of your students is an old soul. They may surprise you!
- Shift the focus from yourself to others
Although this blog is about your self-introduction, that doesn’t mean the first class of the school year has to be all about you! Use this as an opportunity to get your students to open up and introduce themselves as well. People strongly remember how someone else makes them feel. If your classroom is going to be an effective learning environment, you’ll need to get to know each other in the first week.
- Be yourself
Although this seems obvious, sometimes you can be less than authentic without even realizing it. If you are new to teaching or still find public speaking difficult, your mannerisms might be overly formal. Focus on having relaxed, but confident body language. And if you’re reading from notes or a computer, don’t forget to maintain eye contact where you can!
This last point is crucial. Body Language Matters has a great blog specifically aimed at teachers! It includes the importance of keeping your hands free and palms open, the value of good eye contact, and even the significance of where you point your feet!
Why not kick off your school year in one of these creative ways, and take the self-introduction less traveled?
- Check out our super helpful blogs on warm-up activities for the classroom. We have a blog for high school and middle school classes.
- Do a teacher feature on social media: For obvious reasons, it isn’t wise to share your personal social media details in class, but you could easily make a post on your school’s social media page and give your new students an idea of who you are before they come into class.
- Send out a biographical email: This one works well for high school students, who should be getting into the habit of checking their school emails regularly. Write a short piece about yourself so your new class can start the school year already knowing your name before you write it on the whiteboard.
- Send a letter or a postcard over the summer: If your students are in middle school or younger, a more analog approach could work well. Type up a letter or find a postcard template online that describes a bit about yourself and how excited you are to meet your new class. Children rarely receive mail so this could be a great way to make an exciting first impression on your learners before they even come back to school!
- Make your self-introduction into a slideshow presentation: A colorful template describing who you are can help transform that first class into a memorable lesson for your new learners. This also works well for online classes or blended learning environments.
- Make a quiz on Kahoot and have your students guess facts about yourself, previous careers you may have had, famous people you’ve met, or interesting places you’ve visited. You might even be able to impress them… maybe…
- An acrostic poem is a great tool for younger learners. Not just for English teachers! Once you’ve used the letters in your name to describe what kind of person you are, you can have your students do the same.
So, take some or all of these tips into your new class and make a first impression that will stick with your learners for the entire school year. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, though. Your learners will respect the content of your syllabus and how you deliver it throughout the year, regardless of the first day in class.