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3 Things that Worked

As teachers, we're always perfecting our craft and procedures. I have tried and true things that I return to every year and I have things I try that completely flop. It's all part of the process for me.

This year, I had three things that I found were successful when it comes to building relationships with my students before school even started.

  1. Letters Home: This was a hit and a miss for me this year. I sent my letters a little too soon and there were last-minute changes to our rosters. That was a fail, but the success part came when I heard from parents at Open House about how excited their child was to get mail from me addressed to them.

  2. Ready Confetti: I love giving my students a little treat to take home from Open House. I always put whatever it is in a gift bag labeled "No Peeking!" and I give instructions to not open it until bedtime the night before. I got several comments from parents about how this not only built excitement but their child is still sleeping with the confetti under their pillow because they are convinced it helps them sleep better. That's a win in my book.

  3. Class t-shirts. I love building community within my classroom. For the past few years I have done water bottles with their names and I fill it with a second-grade survival kit. It has become increasingly expensive to make those and I also wanted my students to not think about school as something they had to survive. I debated t-shirts for a while but decided it was worth the investment. Thankfully, we have a t-shirt press and my sweet husband was more than happy to get in some elementary school volunteer hours and help me get those done. They were a hit!

I love how my students already feel valued and important in my classroom. They were sad to go home every day last week and as a teacher that is the best validation there is. Someone once told me that all students want is to be seen, heard and valued. I strive to ensure my students go home daily knowing that they are a valuable member of our community. I have found that by starting that process before they ever step through our classroom doors, is one of the best ways to establish good relationships with my students and their families. Sometimes, small acts of kindness make the biggest impacts.



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