The time has come. You’ve prepped for the new school year. You signed up for Along. You got your account ready. You’re pumped to connect with students in a more meaningful way. But now you might be wondering, What about my students? How can I welcome them to Along? How can I get them excited for the connections ahead?
#1: Introduce Along to the class
Along is like the new kid. It needs a special introduction and a bit of fanfare. Set aside time to properly introduce the tool: Explain what Along is, how it works, and support students as they sign in. Let students ask questions and explore Along during this intro. (There are, of course, no bad questions.) Most importantly, show that you’re excited to use Along and to have the opportunity to check-in with students.
#2: Establish a routine
Make Along something predictable and built into the school week. Pick specific days of the week to share your reflection question, send students a reminder to respond, and to review student reflections. That way, your students think, “Oh, it’s Tuesday, I’ll be getting a new reflection question today.” Knowing what to expect helps lessen anxiety and builds excitement for checking-in — both for students and teachers.
Want a head start on building a routine? Check out our customizable calendar.
#3: Set an example
Students take cues from their teachers. So model the type of behavior in your recordings that you’d like to see in students. Feeling nervous to record your reflection? Explain that. Feeling amped up? Share it! Show students that it’s okay not to be “perfect” and that this is a place to be real. Whether it’s sharing your aspirations or getting tongue-tied, feel free to be yourself. The more candid and relatable you are, the more your students will understand how to open up.
#4: Tell students you hear them
Nothing creates more excitement for a new tool than the realization that it works. For Along, that means showing students that you really hear what they’re saying. That you get where they’re coming from. By sending students a quick response to their reflections, you’re validating their feelings and thoughts, and encouraging them to keep sharing.
#5: Adopt a flexible mindset
Not all students will respond to Along in the same way. And that’s okay. Be clear about your expectations, but also give students the space to respond in their own way. Once students realize that Along isn’t an assignment, they’re more likely to be excited to use it. So keep things flexible and the lines of communication open.
By following the five tips above, you’re making Along an exciting addition to the school week. And as we all know, excitement is contagious.
For more info on introducing students to Along, check out our welcome guide.