Lights, camera, action! Once you’re done preparing your room, it’s time get out a camera or your smartphone and create a guided video tour of your classroom. When you’re done, upload this video to YouTube, and share the link on a classroom homepage or social media site. If you have availability to student or parent email addresses before the school year begins, send the link out. You could also send this during the first week of school, but sending it before the school year begins helps students feel a little more comfortable and relieve the first day jitters because they know exactly what to expect when they walk in the door. This also introduces you to parents so they can put a face to your name – it is especially helpful with parents at the middle / high school level who may never come into contact with their child’s teacher.
Here are a few things you may want to cover:
- The basic layout of your classroom. Show the student desks, your desk. Where are student accessible materials? Where do they turn in homework? Do students store coats, lunch boxes, etc in the classroom or in lockers in the hallway? Is there a restroom in your classroom? Cover all of these areas and any other relevant information you can think of.
- Is there a place within your classroom, or in the hallway where you post information such as field trips, conference sign ups, or other important information? Be sure to highlight this area so that parents can find it easily!
- Have someone record you sitting in a comfortable place within your classroom (or, be really hip and use a selfie-stick). Behind your desk may come off as a little too sterile or intimidating. Introduce yourself and convey your excitement for the school year. Share your goals for the year. Remind parents where they can locate your contact information (don’t share your contact info in the video unless you are keeping the link private.)
Creating this virtual tour should set the tone for your classroom. Let students and parents alike see your passion for teaching, and how you take pride in this space. Be confident and speak clearly.
Other information videos you can create for your own classroom vlog (video blog) series can include:
- An overview of your homework / classwork / grading policies.
- If you have a self-contained classroom, or your entire homeroom follows the same schedule, overview this schedule. If you’re tech savvy, you can overlay pictures over the different areas within the school that the children will visit or even walk the school as you explain where you are going.
- A walking video of how to get to your classroom from the front door of the school. For students coming into a large, new school this can really alleviate some anxiety.
- Explain personal electronics policy / computer usage within the school.
- Video screen navigation of how to access student grades online, locate information on the class website, or social media links for the class.
Post in the comments what other ideas you have for “How to” or informational videos teachers can create!