Friday, July 10, 2015

Remind-- Class Announcements & Benedictions

Remind has been a very useful tool for keeping my parents and students up to date on class announcements.  The one-direction text messaging makes it easy for me to blast out class room changes, reminders to study, or general messages.

My senior students especially appreciated the text messages I sent the night of their prom. Many came in to class the following Monday after prom and said, "I got your text, Mrs. Baker. We behaved ourselves."

This small gesture of sending a text to let them know I cared and was worried about their safety and well-being helped to solidify our working relationship in the classroom.  When students know teachers care about them as people, students will work harder for their teachers.This got me thinking, now that my seniors have graduated and my former freshmen are growing up and will someday leave the nest, how can I let them know that I still think about them?

At the end of every year I've been teaching, I give my students a parting gift of thoughtfulness.  I create business-size cards that on each have an inspirational quote.  I find the quotes on the internet, paste them into a Word doc, play with the fonts, print, laminate, and cut the pages down to business-size cards.  On the last day before exams, I walk around the room and with the cards facing down, ask each student to pick a card. They keep the card putting it in their wallet, phone case, sock drawer, etc. The cards have a funny way of finding the right person-- granted this is akin to reading one's horoscope in the newspaper, but I play up the magic of the card and make sincere statements, "Oh!  That quote is soooo good for you! ... Wow, that one is spot on!" I also create a stack of cards for my swim team before each big meet.  Former students and swimmers will stop by and visit to say HI and let me know, "I still have my cards!"

So this got me thinking, what if I combined the two?  What if I still do the quote cards, but now have a digital version too?  I could repurpose Remind to text out an inspirational quote once a day, twice a week, holidays.... whenever! I can do the same thing on Twitter or Instagram, but I want the messages to go to my students (and whoever else wants to follow) without having all the other issues with social media.  I don't have to worry about following/friending students.  The messages are one directional and, as long as I send them appropriately, there should be no issue.

So, if you would like to receive a sometime daily, sometime weekly, whenever inspirational thought, subscribe to my KBaker's Benedictions group on Remind following the directions below.

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