Flat Teachers Are Hitting Mailboxes – Here’s How to Join the Movement

Flat Teachers Are Hitting Mailboxes - Here’s How to Join the Movement

Students and teachers are missing out on the traditional end of school year traditions, but an Instagram trend is helping everyone create memories in a fun, creative, and unique way.  Teachers are mailing Bitmoji versions of themselves called Flat Teachers to students and asking them to take photos of what they do together. The idea is based on Flat Stanley, a cutout boy who started circulating the world in 1995 as a way to improve children’s reading and writing skills by documenting his traveling adventures. 

It seems the #flatteacherproject may have started in a Facebook group for teachers in April, according to New Jersey teacher Michelle Tumminelli. Tumminelli liked the Flat Teacher idea and decided to do it with her students because it offered a fun, no-pressure way to connect. She’s received very positive feedback from both students and parents. She says, “As much as I can do to just put a smile on their face, I’ll do it.”

1. How to make a Flat Teacher

Create and print your Bitmoji. A Bitmoji is a fun cartoon version of you. If you use Snapchat, you probably already have one. If you don’t have one, they are easy to create. There are several ways to do this:

  1. Use Snapchat: go to settings and then Bitmoji. 
  2. Download the free Bitmoji app in your phone’s app store.
  3. Add the Bitmoji Chrome extension to your computer.

You’ll be able to customize your Bitmoji’s appearance right down to their hairstyle, outfit, facial expression, and pose. Once it’s ready, download the image or simply take a screenshot. You’re ready to print a Flat Teacher version of yourself!

2. You can make your pet flat, too!

3. You can also use your actual photo if you prefer. 

4. No colored printer? No problem! 

Kids will love seeing you even if your Flat Teacher is in black and white. 

5. Laminate them. 

If you don’t have a laminator at home, reinforce them with clear contact paper, packing tape, or by printing on cardstock. 

6. Include a letter.  

A quick Google search for “flat teacher letters” will bring up several templates – complete with rhymes. You can also create your own. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Something simple and from the heart is very effective. For example:

Dear (students name):

I miss you so much! You probably miss our time together at school also. I thought it would be fun to send you a flat version of me so we can still have adventures and make memories together! This Flat Teacher will be there to cheer you on when you’re reading, playing, exploring, doing chores and working on school just like I did in our classroom. Make sure to take photos of all the cool stuff we do together. I can’t wait to see what we do!

Talk to you soon!

(Your name)

(different colors available!)

Flat Teachers Letter Example

7. Pop them in the mail. 

Put the letters and Flat Teachers in envelopes and address one to each student in your class. Add stamps and drop them in the mailbox. 

8. Flat Teacher Activity Ideas:

1. Include a list of ideas. 

Suggest students and their Flat Teacher bake, play with pets, go on a road trip, clean or learn a new skill together. 

2. You can even make it into a fun Bingo game!

3. Offer activity suggestions that link to lesson plans. 

For example, if you’re learning about plant life, encourage students to do some gardening with Flat Teacher. Encourage students to cook with their Flat Teacher as part of a science lesson. 

4. Have students document their days. 

This is a great way to connect. It also gives you a better picture of how they’re doing at home. 

5. Encourage exercise and outdoor time. 

We all need more sunshine and fresh air these days. 

6. Give a little extra support to students working from home. 

Encourage students to have Flat Teacher with them while they do school workHaving an image of their beloved teacher watching over them while they work from home is a big comfort to many students. 

7. Provide reading motivation! 

Ask students to read with their Flat Teachers. They can then send book reports in either written or video format.

8. Challenge students to get creative with Flat Teacher photos. 

You might find yourself working on a farm, taking a boat ride, swimming with the fish, hanging with fairies, or even napping with someone famous!

9. Everyone is loving the Flat Teacher project!

Don’t limit Flat Teachers to elementary students. Teenagers love fun, silly ways to connect even if they pretend to think they’re way too old and cool. Having a Flat Teacher to document is so fun, parents are even getting in on the adventures. And some teachers are receiving flat versions of their students back in the mail. How sweet is that?!

We’d love to see what your Flat Teachers are doing! Tag us in your adventures on social media!

Also Check Out:

Flat Teachers Are Hitting Mailboxes - Here’s How to Join the Movement

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Rachael Moshman
Rachael Moshman, M.Ed., an editor at Bored Teachers, is a mom, educator, writer, and advocate for self-confidence. She's been a teacher in classrooms of infants through adult college students. She loves pizza, Netflix and yoga. Connect with her at rachael.m@boredteachers.com
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