There are countless research articles out there that indicate visual cues help us remember information. In fact, we process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. There are fun quizzes on Facebook to see how many logos you can identify, and, chances are, you know most of them. There is always that one you can’t remember, and most likely you have the “Oh, wait, I know this one- I can see it in my head” response. Pictures are the best way to grab our attention, retain information and recall experiences. This also reigns true in education. Study after study shows children perform better when teachers add in visual cues when presenting a new concept. According to Zane Education, “because such a large proportion of students learn better from visual learning, an improved balance between verbal and visual techniques would produce significantly improved learning outcomes and benefits for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of children and students.”
What hasn't been explored in as great a detail is the emotional response people get when a visual cue is added. It is one thing to read “Our son was super excited to go to his first baseball game.” And another to see this-
Chances are the picture incited more of a visceral emotional response.
So, how does this concept translate to the classroom? Aside from the obvious “add visual cues and children will perform better academically”, how can we implement these strategies to engage and help parents feel part of a greater community?
By using pictures of course! What would happen if teachers added a picture of each parent to the parent email list that gets distributed at the beginning of the year? Would it help to remember other parents’ names? Would they feel as if they knew each other better? Would it be easier to call and set up a play-date for their child who desperately wants to go to his friend’s house? What if there were pictures of staff easily accessible to the parent community? Would parents feel more at ease being able to put faces to staff names? In my experience, yes- that is all true.
When you add a profile picture to Bloomz or any other account, you are accomplishing many things in that one small act.
- you are giving a lens into who you are as a person. Teachers are often viewed as larger than life beings. Parents can feel intimidated with meeting with their child’s teacher, having the perception that they “know everything” leaving parents feeling less than. A friendly picture that they see every day helps to lower the stress and anxiety that perceived barrier creates.
- If a teacher posts a picture to their profile page, it increases the probability others in their circle will do the same.
- If pictures are available of everyone in a class community, it lessens the time of both teachers and parents learning everyone’s names.
- Parents are able to better communicate and create friendships with other parents because they feel like they know who they are.
So, just by linking a picture to your profile, you as a teacher become more relatable, get to know your parent community faster and build a stronger parent community. Just by one picture! So let’s see your shining faces teachers! It will be the best 30 seconds you spend on your classroom today.
Here is my Bloomz Profile Pic… May it inspire you to add your own!