Open House. Back-to-School Night. Meet the Teacher Night. Whatever you call it, it’s not just about meeting your students and their parents. This is your opportunity to make the best first impression. Even if you already know these students from other classes, in the hallway, clubs and other activities, or seeing them in the cafeteria, this is your chance to meet them as their future teacher. This is a new interaction for them, and it’s important that they see you in this new role.
Your impressions on and of your students are important. However, don’t miss the opportunity to make a great first impact on the families as well. Parents want to know who will be teaching their kids, the means of communication, and how much homework they can expect to see, among many other things. It’s also good to be aware of information overload, especially if you’re in the secondary grades where students have multiple teachers to meet, or if parents have multiple children in the same school. Keep your information basic and easy to access, but something that stands out so that parents can easily find your methods of contact or grading policy. Always make sure contact info is front and center so parents always have an easy way to reach you!
Check out these awesome resources we’ve curated to help you kick off the new school year right:
- Flipchart – takes some work, but it’s a really neat way to organize your information for parents
- Organization – Maybe you want to have everything neatly organized for each student on their desks. Or set out baskets to collect school supplies. Here are details about those and many more neat ideas to help organize all the things you have to share, collect, and display.
- A quick presentation – Introduce yourself and your class to parents and students to give them an idea of what to expect this year. Include classroom and homework expectations, the class schedule, short introduction for the technology and tools the class is using, and any upcoming events. You can embed this two-minute overview video of MI Write. Keep the presentation concise and down to about 30 minutes, less if possible. Don’t forget to leave time at the end for parent questions!
- Show off your students’ work – Display what your students have already accomplished around your classroom. Place individual work at each kid’s desk so their parents can see! Collaborative assignments can be hung around the classroom, and parents will have fun searching for their child’s work.
- Include the parents – Let them leave little notes or “wishes” for their kids! You can use these wishes to learn a bit about your students, and then show/give them to the students at some point in the year to remind them that their parents are supporting them too.
- Gather important information, find out what students want to learn and what they need, have a photo booth! These are just a few of our favorite ideas from this We Are Teachers blog!
Whether you’re a brand new teacher, a veteran, or somewhere in the middle, Open House is your opportunity to not only present yourself as the teacher for the year, but to also meet your students and their families. This is your chance to start making those connections building relationships with your students AND their families.
To help your students improve their writing skills to craft well-organized and detailed letters to their parents, and so much more, incorporate MI Write into your writing instruction this year!