Each year, our team of two to three teachers selects a team name. In the past, we’ve been the Scooby Doo team, the Mustangs, the Titanic, and many others. This year, we’re going in a different direction. In an effort to help our students see themselves as competent, smart, amazing students, we are Team Awesome.
We’ve made posters to put on the walls, a sign for our showcase and postcards to mail home to the students.
Did you know you can make posters at Office Max for just over a dollar? My daughter does this for her job, often, so she suggested I check it out. I made 9 posters – 11X17. They cost $1.18 each! They look awesome, too!
The postcards will be mailed home to each student to get them excited about going to school. We don’t have much time to motivate them, so I like to start as early as possible. They say
Welcome to Team Awesome!
Congratulations on being selected! You are a valuable member of the team and we are thrilled to have you.
It also explains about our Back to School BBQ and the first day. But it ends with
Hope you’re excited, because we are!
See you then,
Ordinarily, we would sign our names, but we’re in the process of hiring our third teacher, so we couldn’t do that.
I also put letters above the door to my classroom – going in they say “Make Today Awesome”. Leaving, they say “Be Awesome Today”. I also used window markers on my window – I wrote “Make Today Awesome” and “If it is to be, it is up to me”. The window is right next to the smartboard, so they will see it every day while they are in my classroom. (And, of course, who doesn’t spend time looking out the window while you’re in class, right?)
We are hoping to find sponsors to purchase t-shirts for the students, too. With these t-shirts, we’ll be able to build that identity in our students. Which leads us back to the title: Branding Your Classroom. The longer I teach, the more convinced I am that students are searching for an identity. We can give them a positive one, or they can find one of their own. The problem is, some of the identities they search out are not positive for them. By making them a member of Team Awesome, we’re giving them that positive identity.
What do you do to help your students feel like a part of a team?