And I’m back! It seems like if there was a time for tips, it’s NOW! (You know, with the pandemic and everything.)
If you’re going back to school after what feels like a very, very long and bizarre hiatus, here’s my tip for the first day back:
Connect and learn their names!
Whether you’re in person or online, greet each student by name and tell them how how glad you are to see them!
If you’re not sure how to pronounce a name, don’t attempt it! It’s embarrassing for them. Just say, “If your name starts with - and ends with -, will you help me make sure I say your name correctly?” And then repeat it back and ask, “Was that right?” If they say “no,” apologize and ask them to help you again. Practice until it’s right. Names matter. If you need to, write it out phonetically so that you get it right from now on.
Even if you’re in a virtual classroom, warmly greet every single person by name. It matters!!!
Always be sure that your students know they matter to you. Caring to get their names right is the best first way to do this!
Stay safe out there!