The last day of school for us comes each May. By that time, we’ve spent over 1,000 hours together as a class—a family. My kids leave school that day, but when they return in the fall they are no longer my kids. It’s tough. For a fleeting moment, I wonder what next year will be like. Who will I be spending 1,000+ hours with?
There are so many things I want to do during the summer and so much to catch up on around the house. I’ll take a trip or two; maybe hit the beach. Still, I can’t help but wonder “who will be in my class next year?” I’ll go to some conferences to attend or present workshops. Yet I think “what names will wind up on my class list?” I pop in and out of my classroom to get ahead for next year. Summer comes and goes in what seems like the blink of an eye. Before I know it, the new class lists come out.
I’m looking down on a list of 24 new names. I might recognize two or three. And then those names begin to go up all over my classroom. Name tags, desk tags, helper’s chart, the birthday calendar—all have new names! I know the kids are just as eager to find out who is going to be their new teacher, as I was to see my class list. So this year I decided to introduce myself to my students in a new way. I used Tellagami.
Tellagami is an app that allowed me to create an avatar, or “gami” of myself. There are options for eye, skin, and hair color. I was also able to pick out the outfit and background I wanted to use. You can choose from their gallery or upload your own picture. (I decided to upload a photo of my desk.) Then, I recorded a simple welcome message to my kids and invited them to our Back to School night. I attached the message to an email, and within 10 minutes had a fun, new, original way to say hello to my new students.
Maybe I still have a few minutes left to catch up on the things around the house . . .
How do you introduce yourself to your new students?