Welcome back to school videos can be instrumental in getting the school year off on a good foot.

3 ways ‘welcome back to school’ videos build excitement for the new year

"Welcome back to school" videos don’t have to be long; they just have to be meaningful—and fun

Last year, my school started sending “welcome back to school” videos to our families to generate excitement among students before they came to campus for Open House. Even though they didn’t necessarily know who their teacher was going to be, the kids fell in love with every single teacher in those videos, because there’s power in seeing people’s faces and hearing their voices.

The other purpose for the “welcome back to school” videos was to share some major changes in school procedures that we made last year. We wanted a lighthearted way to prepare students and parents for what they were going to walk into, so it didn’t just hit them in the face.

Related content: The most important lessons we learned this year

To share the videos, we sent a postcard with a QR code to every family. Scanning the code gave them access to three videos: an introduction from the admin team, a greeting from the teachers at their grade level, and a special message from me. Here’s how each of those “welcome back to school” videos made our school a happier place to be.

Nuts and bolts from the admin team

Our admin videos are about a minute or so long. Last year, the admin message focused on the car rider line. We have 1,100 students in the building, so during pick-ups we run 375 cars through our parking lot in 25 minutes. We have very specific rules about where you park and when you can get out of your car. In the video, the admin team and I reminded parents about these rules, and then together we all said our little joke: “Or you could put them on the bus.” Because the video needs to be fun, even if it deals with a serious subject.

In this year’s admin video, we highlight our mindset for the year, which is “Live to Give.” We mention the different ways we’ll learn how to give as well as receive, including how to stretch ourselves, create a legacy, and receive gracefully.

Excitement from the grade-level teachers

These videos include every teacher in each grade level and are less than a minute long. Our goal is to make a connection to students so that when they come in for Open House, they can’t wait to get to their classroom.

The videos can give a sneak peek of what students will be learning, and even how they’ll be learning it. A teacher might say, “I’m so excited that this year we’re going to be learning how to do multiplication facts. You think it’s hard right now, but I have this amazing way I’m going to show you. It’s going to be super fun and easy. Aren’t you excited to learn your multiplication facts?”

Ongoing inspiration from the principal

As I mentioned, our mindset for the upcoming year is “Live to Give.” In my welcome video, I’ll talk about how we want to turn that mindset into action by helping each other inside the walls of our school and outside in our community. I want parents to know that we’ll be teaching their children how to stretch themselves and how to make a difference.

Short videos have been an incredibly powerful communication tool to help families feel connected with the school. In fact, based on feedback from several parents, this year I’m expanding beyond the welcome video and sharing one 30-second video every month.

Every video will connect back to the 7 Mindsets and will include three questions we want parents to ask their kids about that mindset. I’ll follow up each video with an email encouraging them to talk to their children and share what they’ve learned on social media.

With 1,100 students in this building, I may not have met every parent, but seeing my face and hearing my voice helps them feel like they know me better. Over the years, I’ve shared snippets of video occasionally, and I’ve always shot them in my office. Now when I’m out at the grocery store and a parent sees me, they always say something like, “I love the sign in your office that says, ‘Go be awesome!’ It looks nice against that teal background.”

Even if that parent has never personally met me, those videos spark an instant connection between us. And that feeling of connection is an essential part of creating an environment where their kids can happily learn every day.

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