Kick-off the 2020-21 School Year Virtually: How to Create a Welcome Back Slide Deck for Your Students & Parents

A lot of school districts will be teaching classes remotely to start the 2020-21 school year.  We do not know how long this is going to take, but we have to hit the ground running as we would if we were brick and mortar.

I teach 7th and 8th grade Physical Education.  A lot of the 6th graders know me from peeking inside the gym out of curiosity to see where the music was coming from, or wanting to know what activity had 50 students running around.  For those who do not know me, and as a little refresher I have customized a “Meet the Teacher” Slidedeck.  

The tools needed for Meet the Teacher are:  Google Slides, video recording app,, Snapseed, and

  1. Create a new blank presentation.
  1. The days of generic powerpoint layouts are over.  Go to the ‘Slide’ tab, and select ‘Change Background.’
  1.  Go to ‘Google Image Search’.  Type in something like: beach, grass meadow, brick wall, yoga studio.  PIck something that goes with your content area.  Gym floor= P.E.
  1.  Now you have a more interesting background to get students’ attention.  
  1.  Items can be added by doing another image search.  Remember to select images with transparent backgrounds.

Suggestions for the content of letting students get to know their teacher:

Students can stay on this second slide and click the links/boxes that will automatically take them to the corresponding slide.  It’s the same idea as doing a choice board layout.

The black box is where my back to school welcome video will play.  I was not about to get all glammed up for a video. 🤷🏾‍♀️  I threw on a Michigan State Spartans hat, and moved lamps around to get good lighting.  I even used my cell phone light.  I recorded a non scripted video three times.  The first take was the most natural.  It’s weird that I speak with ease in front of a gym or classful of scholars.  I get all tense when it comes to recording myself.  

I wanted to keep the ‘About Me’ page short and sweet.  I always mention my experience as a foster parent.  A lot of my students have been in care, or are being raised by guardians other than their birth parents.  It helps to build trust early in the school year. 💯

Check out my transparent background images created with

🚨Make sure the images you post are professional.🚨  

Edit as necessary.  For example, the photo on my first slide showed a sliver of stomach due to the cropped shirt.  I used a blur tool on the Snapseed app to make my shirt appear longer.  If you look closely, there is a Nike Swoosh that does not belong.  👀

If you are having a hard time finding images, there is a free website called  All you need to do is upload a photo from your device.  The software will automatically remove the background.  This will make your slides look very professional.

Books that I Love could have easily been songs 🎶, foods🍕, sports🏀⚽⚾, athletes🏃, or movies 🎟️🍿 that I love.

I try my best not to use the standard Arial font.  Working with middle school students motivates me to be creative so they stay engaged.  I add Bitmojis and emojis to draw their attention. is an easy Google friendly website to create text with various glitter designs.  When I say Google friendly, I mean that you can drag the text from the tab and drop it directly into your slidedeck.

I am mindful not to have fonts flashing too much so I do not trigger a student who may be sensitive to the pulsing glitter colors.

Another tip is to change the color of your fonts.  Add drop shadows with different colors. is another one of my favorite sites to create my own gifs from a series of photos or from a video file.

The Meet the Teacher slidedeck ends with a contact information slide and sample of Bitmoji Classroom.  I have so many layouts for Bitmoji classrooms.  I may change it for each unit.  P.E. is going to have a lot more Health concepts.   

We are still learning the guidelines for the 2020-21 school year.  It will be more structured with set work hours as we would normal school hours.  I will teach live lessons 4 days a week.  Being a blogger has helped me adjust to the virtual teaching environment.  Likewise, being an online teacher will help my blog be more colorful and fun.  🎨

Whether you are a teacher, blogger, parent, or all three, be patient with yourself and your kiddos.  We are all trying our best. I would love to be in brick and mortar, but you see on the news what is happening to schools that rushed to reopen with in-person instruction.  

How well do you know your fellow blogger friend❓  Leave a comment for which statement you think is a lie.  👇👇🏻👇🏼👇🏽👇🏾👇🏿

About Kelsie Lou

Teacher on the move.
This entry was posted in Education, family, Louisville, Teachers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Kick-off the 2020-21 School Year Virtually: How to Create a Welcome Back Slide Deck for Your Students & Parents

  1. kagould17 says:

    They are still planning to send the kids back into schools here in September, but with cases on the rise, I hope they push it back a month. Happy teaching and stay well Kelsie Lou. Allan


    • Kelsie Lou says:

      Hi Allan,
      You’re in Vancouver, right? I hate to hear that. I know someone who sent her two HS boys to school in Indiana. On the third day they came home ill. Shortly after, she had the same symptoms. The all tested positive for Covid19. She ended up spreading the virus to her father. It’s just not worth it.


  2. You are such an amazing teacher. Love the way you set up for the virtual start to the school year.


  3. SPITLOGIC says:

    Its interesting how the blogging life makes these kinds of things easier than if someone what simply active on social media. I think your approach is potentially a model for most instructors to follow. I think this environment will be heavily reliant on parents role. Unfortunately many parents won’t be able to be as attentive as they would like to be.

    Still; I think what you’ve done shows how much work and care you’ve put into this semester. Best of luck to you. Lets hope that this doesn’t become the new norm.


    • Kelsie Lou says:

      You’re 100% correct. I was checking my rosters and clicked on a student’s personal info. He has 5 other siblings in the same household. Even with the free Wi-Fi, having so many devices connected will cause bandwidth issues. Not to mention 6 learners trying to master new standards. God Bless the parents!!🙏🏽

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Chandra Lynn says:

    This is great! I’ll share it with my K-12 teacher friends.


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