I think we can all agree that building relationships with our students is one of the most important aspects of being a teacher.
There are so many different ways that this can be done, but one of my favorites is student shout outs.
I personally love when I get personalized notes from my boss or a friend thanking me for something or letting me know that an activity I did in class was fantastic. Words of affirmation are truly my love language and I’ve realized something in my classroom:
Students need words of affirmation from their teachers, too.
When I taught elementary I had two classes and I made it a personal goal to give a student shout out to each student at least once a month. I know that this can seem like a daunting task. When I had 40 students, it sometimes felt like a lot and now that I have 55 students (not including the virtual students) it can definitely feel overwhelming. However, there’s ways to make it easier.
Keep shout out cards on hand.
I keep the master copies in my copy drawer at all times. When I need more shout out cards, I make between 20-25 copies which will give me 80-100 shout out cards. Then, I cut them out and keep them ready to go so that when it is time to write a shout out, I don’t have to worry about anything other than writing to my students.
Create a checklist.
To keep track of who has gotten a shout out, I create a spreadsheet with names on the left and the month across the top. That way, each week I can check off who received a shout out and keep up with my monthly goal of giving one to every student each month. If you didn’t want to create a spreadsheet, you could even use a checklist page in your teacher planner!
Pick 1 day a week to be your shout out day.
I only give out student shout outs on Friday. This allows me to watch students all week for specific things I can write on a shout out. It also lets me just write a few each day instead of feeling like I have to sit and write down all of the shout outs at once. Your day doesn’t have to be Friday! Pick whatever day works for you.
Last year, I had so many parents tell me at parent-teacher conferences how much these notes meant to their child. Even this past week, a parent of a student I taught last year reached out to thank me again for the notes because her son still has them and looks at them often. Writing student shout outs is one simple thing we can do as a teacher to show our students how much we care.
Every time I post about my shout outs, I’m always asked if I have the template to share. If y’all ask, I will deliver! Below you can click the link to make a copy of template I use for my student shout outs. Enjoy!
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