As the new school year approaches, there are so many decisions to make and things to prepare for your classroom! As busy as the last few weeks of summer can be for teachers, I highly suggest sending a welcome back letter to each of your students. This one simple action can really set the tone for a great first week of school (and beyond)! Keep reading for three reasons why it's worth your time to send a student welcome letter before school starts.
Three Reasons to Send a Student Welcome Letter
There are many reasons why I take the time to mail a physical letter to my new students each summer. For this post, I decided to narrow it down to the top three benefits of writing welcome letters to your students.
Reason #1 – Create Excitement
When was the last time you received a letter in the mail that wasn’t a bill, bank statement, or credit card offer? Physical letters are few and far between for us as adults, but they are even more uncommon for our students! Receiving an actual letter in the mail, addressed to them, will help increase their excitement to start school again.
It doesn’t have to stop there! The contents of your letter can continue the excitement and anticipation! A back-to-school letter is a great way to share things for your students to look forward to as they come back to school. Did the school playground get a new slide? Does your classroom library have really awesome books? Is there a special activity your students can look forward to on the first day of school?
Adding one or two pieces of exciting news can go a long way in helping your students look forward to returning to school.
Reason #2 – Build Relationships
Another reason to send a student welcome letter during the summer is that you can start building relationships with your students and their families. Due to the scarcity of letters mentioned above, parents are often pleasantly surprised when teachers take the time to send a back-to-school letter to their child. This can really help to build the foundation of your relationship with the parents of your students.
Even more importantly, your students can start to get to know you through your letter. You can share a photo of yourself and fun facts that would be relatable to your students. If you have a positive phrase or message that you often share with your students during the year, be sure to include that somewhere in your letter! This will help students know you care about them. Plus, this will share a glimpse of the caring community they will experience in your classroom.
Reason #3 – Ease Nervousness
No matter how excited students are for the new school year, there is usually a bit of nervousness to go along with the excitement! They might be nervous about where to go when they first arrive at school, where to line up to go into the building, or how to find the right classroom. A student welcome letter can address any or all of these concerns!
You might have a back-to-school night or meet the teacher event where students can see these things for themselves. If that's the case, it's still a good idea to address the first day of school in your letter. You can share helpful tips and tell them a little bit about what to expect on the first day. Students might hear about these procedures just once on back-to-school night, but they can read and re-read your welcome letter any time. When your students start to feel nervous in the days leading up to school, they can find some comfort in the words you include in your welcome letter.
What to Include in a Student Welcome Letter
Could you use some inspiration for what to include in a student welcome letter? Here are just a few ideas:
- About the Teacher: Include a photo of you and your family, a list of your favorites, what you did this summer, what you like to do in your spare time, your pet’s name, etc.
- About the Class: Share fun or exciting things that are unique to your class or grade level. Include a positive phrase that you use in your classroom. Talk about what they will learn in your class this year.
- About the First Day: Tell students where they can line up on the first day and remind them about any signs or numbers to look for. Give them a sneak peek of the activities they’ll do on the first day, including hints for any special surprises!
The most important thing to remember is that this letter should be addressed to the children directly. This will help your students feel special and know that you care about them. This also means you’ll want to use child-friendly language and keep your welcome letter at a “just right” length.
Would you like even more tips for writing a student welcome letter? Check out the ideas in this post!
Printable Welcome Letters for Students
If you’d like to save time on formatting your welcome letter, I have you covered! I have created a resource with multiple back-to-school letter templates for each elementary grade level. They come in both color and black-and-white options, depending on how you will be copying your letters.
There are a variety of formats to choose from so that you can find a template that best suits the content of your student welcome letter. If you’d like to take a closer look at everything included in this back-to-school resource, you can find it in my shop or on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Save these Student Welcome Letter Tips and Ideas
I hope that this post has helped you get excited about the idea of sending out a welcome letter before school starts. If you would like to find these tips and ideas later, be sure to add this pin to your favorite teaching board on Pinterest. You’ll be able to quickly find this post when you’re looking for some back-to-school letter ideas!
I enjoyed reading your thoughts and ideas for the return to school, very calming and inspiring. Thank you and I truly look forward to using some of your ideas this year in my class.