If you’re looking for a new and creative way to introduce yourself to students this year, we’ve got you covered! We gathered lots of terrific ideas, including some from teachers on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook. They range from quick and easy options to some that will take some planning, but they’re all great ways to start the new year off on the right note.
1. Do a Teacher Feature on school social media
Lots of schools use their social media accounts to introduce teachers, like this example from @tstlongview. Propose the idea at your school, suggesting they do a teacher a day in the weeks leading up to back-to-school time.
2. Have last year’s students introduce you
This fun learning activity not only allows your current students to introduce you to next year’s class, it gives you a chance to get feedback about how this year has gone! See how this teacher runs the lesson with her students.
3. Send postcards to introduce yourself
No time for a full letter? Try postcards instead. “I took a picture of me playing fetch with my trusty golden retriever and sent it to each of my new students over the summer,” James C. shares. “On the back, I wrote a short note introducing myself and telling them how excited I was to have them in my class.” See how The Techie Teacher uses this idea here.
4. Show them a slideshow
Lots of teachers use a slideshow to introduce themselves. We’ve made it even easier to create one with our free editable template—grab it here!
5. Introduce yourself with a quiz
First-day quizzes are a really popular way to introduce yourself to students. Kahoot even has an easy-to-customize template just for getting to know your teacher! Lisa T. does a slideshow about herself on the first day and then follows up on the second day with a quiz to see how much they remember.
6. Share your talents
Students expect the usual bio intro—I’m Ms. Smith, I’ve been teaching for 10 year, etc. But why not open with a bit of pizzazz by sharing one of your unique talents with students? Play a song on your trumpet, pass out cookies you made, display a quilt you made. Opening up with something personal will encourage your students to do the same.
7. Plan a meet-the-teacher escape room
OK, we admit this is going to take some work. But it’s a surefire way to amp up student excitement from day one! Set up an escape room to help kids learn more about you and explore the classroom at the same time. See how Mskcpotter does it here.
8. Play 20 Questions
After a brief introduction, open the floor to students’ questions about yourself and the coming year. This is a great way to reveal students’ wishes and hopes for the year as well as any concerns that are lurking beneath the surface. Be sure to have a “pass” option if students ask any questions that are too personal for you so you can deflect with good humor.
9. Use a student-created brochure
Emily F. lets her previous year’s class help her introduce herself to incoming students. Then she gives a quiz to see if kids really took the time to read it! “At the end of the year, I have my students make a brochure for next year’s students. If the kids read it, they get a lot of answers to my quiz questions right.” Looking for a template? We like this one from Teacher Trap.
10. Decorate a Bitmoji virtual classroom
Whether you’re teaching in person or online, Bitmoji classrooms are a fantastic way to show off your personality. This one from The Social Studies World of Ms. J has clickable images to take students to different important links. Learn how to create your own here.
11. Read, run, and write
Get your students working collaboratively and focusing on their writing skills right away with this activity from the Busy Teacher. Write a list of facts about yourself—your background, family, hobbies, etc.—and post several copies of the list in the front of the room.
Divide your class into small teams and give each team a sheet of paper. One student in each group will stay at their desk while the others take turns running up to the board, reading and memorizing as much as they can before running back to the student at the desk who will listen and write down what they’re told. The first group to correctly write down the full list wins.
12. Build a word cloud
Word clouds are fun to make, and you can use this as an activity for all your students on the first day if you like. Make your own using instructions from Happy Hooligans using words that describe your background, hobbies, style, and more. Plus, check out these free word cloud generators for teachers.
13. Set up a question-and-answer match
Image source: JobCase
Fourth grade teacher Lori Silviera shares this fun activity: “I make Q and A’s on index cards about me,” she says, “and then the students try to find a classmate who has the answer or question that matches the card they get. After they partner, the person with the question reads it and then the partner that has the answer reads it to the rest of the class. For example: How many pets do I have? (One cat named Lenny).”
14. Make a photo book to introduce yourself
Start the year by reading your kids a book that’s all about you! Heidi J. says, “Last year, I made an ‘ABC’ photo book on Shutterfly and included one thing about myself for each letter of the alphabet. (And yes, I really had to stretch to figure out ‘X’ and ‘Q.’) After reading it to my students on the first day of school, I left it in the classroom library. The kids read it over and over again throughout the year.” Learn how teacher Sarah Chesworth uses her autobiography with her class here.
15. Create a Fakebook profile
It’s not a great idea to show students your real social media pages. Instead, create a “Fakebook” profile, like teacher Marissa Q. does. Use the free online tool, or mock up one on paper, sharing interesting facts, photos, and other info about you that you’re comfortable with kids knowing.
16. Model a survey
Try this fun and educational activity from the Art of Education. Student questionnaires/surveys are a great way to get to know your students, and for students to have an opportunity to share things with you at the start of the school year. Ask things like, “Do you have a nickname or middle name that you go by instead of what is on the roster?” “What is your preferred pronoun?” “How do you like to receive feedback?” etc. We like this list of questions from the Inspiration Board.
17. Let students research your life
Introduce yourself to your students with a lesson on gathering info from trustworthy primary sources. “I give students a stack of primary documents from my life (letters, report cards, class pictures, etc.) with all the sensitive information blacked out,” eighth grade teacher Phil L. says. “I ask the students to create a timeline from that information, hypothesize about what happened in the gaps, and draw conclusions about the kind of person they think I am.”
18. Try a game of This and That
Your new students will love this hands-on “get to know you” game from Amateur Craft Hour. The game begins with the first person securing a ball of yarn to their wrist. Then, they choose a stick with a word written on each side—for example, fame and money. They choose which one they would prefer. Then, they ask those who would make the same choice to raise their hand and toss the yarn to one of them. Play continues until the yarn has woven quite a web illustrating that we are all connected in some way.
19. Hold a scavenger hunt
Jan R. expands on the research activity by turning her students into detectives. She puts all the documents in envelopes marked TOP SECRET and stashes them around her room. She even gives them magnifying glasses to read the fine print! Use the free printables from Moms & Munchkins to make this even more fun.
20. Introduce yourself in a movie
It’s a bit more work, but teachers point out that you can use these to introduce yourself again and again. Plus, a movie works in both regular and virtual classrooms. Many teachers already have access to iMovie on their school computers. Learn how to use it here.
21. Introduce yourself on Flip
Flip (formerly Flipgrid) is the best interactive tool you’re not using yet. It allows teachers and kids to record and safely post short videos … and it’s completely free! Record a Flip video to introduce yourself to students, then have them do the same. Whether you’re teaching in person or online, this is such a fun way for everyone to get to know each other.
22. Let them do the math
Sneak a little math review into your teacher introduction with this clever idea! Come up with a series of facts about you that can be represented in numbers, then turn those into math problems. This works at a variety of grade levels, and kids always get such a kick out of it! Learn more from The Magnificent Fourth Grade Year.
23. Design a T-shirt
Wear your personality on your sleeve! Draw the outline of a shirt and decorate it with information about yourself. Have your students do the same and then use them to adorn your room, like Counseling Corner does. (Feeling ambitious? Decorate and wear a real T-shirt instead!)
24. Draw a name map
Mapping is an excellent writing strategy, and you can teach the concept early on with a fun name map. Create one to introduce yourself on the first day of class, then have your students do the same. Find out more from TeachWithMe.com.
25. Put together a name tent
Name tents work in traditional or virtual classrooms. In an in-person classroom, prop this on your desk for the first week or so. Online, post the image during breaks or leave it on the corner of the screen. (Kids can do this activity too!) Learn more from Spark Creativity.
26. Give them the scoop on you
Is there any cuter way to introduce yourself to your students? If you really want to guarantee yourself the “best teacher ever” award, you could have an ice cream sundae party to go along with it! Learn more from True Life I’m a Teacher.
27. Let your star shine
“Every week during the year, one student is Star of the Week and they get to display a collage of their favorite things in the classroom,” says Judith G. “For the first week, I’m the star and my collage allows my students to get to know me.” Use this example from Amanda Hager on Pinterest for inspiration.
28. Dress the part
“I know my students think of me as a bit of a geek (hey, what can I say, I’m a math teacher!) so I totally geek out for the first day of school,” admits Greg S. “I wear a pi T-shirt and thick glasses and really play up the geeky math teacher thing.” Want to go all out? Try these teacher dresses that make you look just like Ms. Frizzle!
29. Play Red Light, Green Light, getting-to-know-you style
Here’s a fun twist on the classic “Two Truths and a Lie” (another teacher-introduction favorite). Line kids up on one end of the room or playground. Stand on the other side, and make a statement about yourself. If students think the statement is true, they take one step forward. If they’re wrong, they go back to the start! The first student to reach you is the winner. Learn more about this unique way to introduce yourself from Rulin’ the Roost.
30. Write an autobiographical poem
This idea comes from Brianna H., who says, “I like to do an autobiographical poem. I do a model about myself to use as a guide for them. Students write their own using the template and then write it on construction paper and cut out images to create a collage around it.” See this project in action from Melulater.
31. Show them you’re one part of the puzzle
Use this cute idea to introduce yourself and create a terrific back-to-school bulletin board all at once! Personalize your puzzle piece with pictures or facts about yourself. Have kids do the same, and put all the pieces together to make a terrific mural for your classroom. Learn more from Supply Me.
32. Assemble a picture collage
Use pictures to make a collage that tells kids about you with pictures instead of words. “We do a Get to Know Me in Pictures,” says Paige T. “I made one for myself and I introduce myself to the whole class using mine.” If you really want to get creative, make your collage in the shape of your silhouette. Learn how from Kix. (This works online too—try it using Padlet.)
33. Map out a timeline of your life
Draw a timeline on the whiteboard before you introduce yourself, suggests Jan R. As you share facts about yourself from different points in your life, have kids come up and add those events to the right place on the timeline. Make it even more fun by adding photos from your life, like this one from Surfin’ Through Second.
34. Craft a get-to-know-you cloudburst
This simple and colorful craft lets students know what’s important to you. Have them make their own so you can get to know them too. Hat tip to GuysTeachToo on Instagram for this idea.
35. Write a Mystery Box essay
Dawn M. explains, “I put 3 items that represent me in a bag and use it to teach the 5-paragraph essay format. Each item is one paragraph of my essay. Then I share my essay with the kids and pull each item out while reading that item’s paragraph.” She follows up by having kids write their own introductory essays using the same format. See how one teacher uses this activity at Welcome to Room 36!
36. Pop an emoji bubble
We love this clever little game that works with Google Slides and is perfect for virtual or traditional classrooms. Students pick an emoji and “pop” the bubble, and you answer the question to tell them a bit about yourself. Kids can play too! Get the game from SSSTeaching on Teachers Pay Teachers.
How do you introduce yourself to your students? Come share your ideas and get advice on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
Plus, check out Icebreakers for Middle and High School Students That Really Work!