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Three Simple Ways to Build Relationships with Students... Before the First Day of School!

Matt holds hands with a student

In the most recent episode of my podcast, I talked about ways to start building relationships with students (and families) before school even begins. I spoke about a few resources and wanted to share those with you here. These are all samples, that is, you're free to use them, but also copy and make them your own!

1. Summer Letter - There are truly two parts to my letter. The first is for families and the second is directed to the student. I make sure to include a small photo of myself so children know what I look like, but more importantly, I also make sure to include a link to my Summer Video.

2. Summer Video - A simple video, where I introduce myself, read a story, and tell new students how excited I am to meet and work with them. In this sample (about a minute long), I've cut out most of the story for copyright purposes, but you can get a good feel for what this video would look like. I upload it to Vimeo or YouTube and then share the private link.

3. Summer Family Survey - I try to keep this short and simple. If it's too long, folks won't do it. If you need it translated into other languages, take the time to do it to make it as accessible as possible for all families. I'm sharing a copy to print and send with your letter, but you can surely create a simple online Google Form and share that as well.

I hope these ideas and resources help! On the podcast, I also talk about some simple ways to build relationships on the first day of school. What other ideas do you have for building relationships with students and families before school even begins? Please leave a comment below and let me know!

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