Introducing Myself to My Students...Virtually



As the start of this school year got closer and closer a few weeks ago, I kept trying to think of ways I could make the start of the year special for students and get them excited for class, in light of all the changes that are being made to their educational experience.  Then I saw this amazing post from Annabelle Allen (aka la Maestra Loca) and it got my creative wheels turning.  In the post, she shared a video she made to introduce herself to her students using virtual backgrounds in Zoom and Snap Camera filters.  So off I went to make my own (and figure out how the heck Snap Camera works...you might have to downgrade your Zoom for it to work!).  The goal was for curious students to be able to watch it before the start of the school year or at the very beginning.  Here is the video:


I also did a live version of the lesson, using the same virtual backgrounds.  Absent students were able to just watch the video if they hadn't yet.  During the live version (during the first week of school, which was all virtual for 7th graders), students offered to translate each statement about me, and put things in the chat about things we had in common, sharing that they too played an instrument or rode horses (some of them even ride at the same barn as me and were able to tell by the name of the horse I was riding!).  It was a great, informal way for everyone to connect and get to know each other and me.  I didn't expect so much engagement in the live version!  While sharing too much about yourself to your students can be a boundary issue, over the years I've found that sharing information about myself that is not overly personal really helps me connect with my students.  It also humanizes the teacher and shows he or she is just a regular human being too.  My students like finding out that I attended the same school they did and some of their teachers were my teachers!

In a subsequent post I'll be sharing more about the ways my students have introduced themselves to me and to each other so far this year.

How have you been introducing yourself to your students this year?


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