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Building Community Before the School Year Begins

One of the most exciting days for me as a teacher, is the day my roster is finally released. I immediately pour over the list of names and start working on my name tags and locker labels. I put my students in number order and start thinking about the exciting adventures the year will hold.


I am a firm believer in building relationships with my students and their families before the school year begins. One of the ways I do this is by sending my students "Happy Mail" letting them know who their new teacher will be.


For some years I have made or purchased scratch-off cards where they scratch the stickers. My picture and name is revealed under the scratch-offs. In other years I have kept it simple and created a colorful letter in a colorful envelope. I remember the thrill of getting mail addressed to me when I was a kid so I want them to enjoy this simple pleasure from bygone days.


It doesn't have to be elaborate but I do want my students to build excitement for the upcoming school year. I want them to hear from me personally and know that they have a teacher who is excited to meet them and who is already praying for them and cheering them on as we embark on this grand adventure of second grade.


While it may seem like one more thing to do on our ever-growing list of things to accomplish before the year begins, take the time to do something special for your students. One small act goes a long way toward building connections with your students and making them feel seen and known in your classroom.




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