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August 16, 2016

A Hidden Agenda for Meet the Teacher Night

Written By: Brandi Jordan
Category: The School Year
X A Hidden Agenda for Meet the Teacher Night - ReallyGoodTeachers.com

A Hidden Agenda for Meet the Teacher Night - ReallyGoodTeachers.com

Meet the Teacher Night is fast approaching in school districts across the country!  It’s a great opportunity to introduce your classroom and teaching style to families as they come to visit. More importantly, it’s the first real opportunity to create a relationship and establish communication with this year’s students and parents. Instead of just telling families about the information they’ll need to provide, give them an opportunity to submit the things you need to get the year off to an organized start. This great idea by Karen, a 1st Grade Teacher in Wichita Falls, TX, uses Meet the Teacher Night to help with the collection of first day of school transportation organization. Check it out!

 

Collect Information at Meet the Teacher Night

“My school schedules our Meet the Teacher Night before school opens. I have come to regard that night as my personal ‘Collect Information from Families Night,” Karen chuckled.

“To set it up, on each child’s desk, I place two sticky notes labeled as follows:

• Child’s Name________

  • Transportation First Day: __________
  • Transportation, Remainder of the Year: __________

I then call parents’ attention to the notes and have them jot their information down as they listen to my presentation about our upcoming school year.

After parents leave for the night, I collect the notes and organize them onto a clipboard. ‘Transportation’ becomes ‘Simplification’ as I use the notes to dismiss kids that first day (and all the remaining days) without a hitch. Later on, I transfer the information to a Transportation Poster that we post in our classroom.

While I use this strategy to manage transportation at dismissal, you could also use it for other purposes, such as to have parents sign up for volunteer work in your class or to schedule parent chaperones for field trips, etc. It makes parents feel involved right from the start and helps to minimize some of the first week of school paperwork going home.  It also helps the classroom run much more smoothly, which makes for happy students and a slightly less stressed teacher.”

 

What are some of your favorite Meet the Teacher Night ideas? Share them with us below or on the Really Good Teacher Forums!

 

This article was originally published in 2010 and updated in 2016.

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  • Sarah C
    March 20, 2011

    That’s a good idea. I know most schools in my area give out huge packets of information for parent’s to fill out on the first day. It includes the emergency card and all that good stuff. I think that schools should have these back to school nights, pass out the information packets at that time, have the parents fill them out and return them when school starts. That would save time during the first day of school and you know that the parents are getting the packets of info!

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  • Carol
    July 7, 2010

    Our Back to School night is a week or two after school begins. A colleague gave the following idea to me several years ago and I’ve used it ever since. Write down items you’d like to have in the classroom on sticky notes—one item per sticky note. Place them on the front board and let the parents know they are welcome to come up and pull as many as they like from the board.
    I’ve received an air popcorn popper, hot glue gun, washable ink pads,cotton balls,glitter glue, and many other items that I use but didn’t pay for out of my own pocket.
    The colleague that gave me this idea put a “book binding machine” on the board. She received 2 from parents that had their own printing business and didn’t need them anymore. She gave me her extra.
    Try this idea. You never know what might happen.

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  • Marilee
    July 6, 2010

    I use a sign in sheet for Meet the Teacher time with columns for child’s name, parent’s name, transportion first day and normally. This really helps [particularly when I taught 1st grade) as you have that nagging thought in the back of your mind all during the first day – do I know how they are all gettting home? And then I watch that first morning for the kids and parents who didn’t come to Meet the Teacher to get that information. This really eases stress. (And I make phone calls early in the day for any I don’t have down.)

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  • Leslie
    July 4, 2010

    I use our Open House and Curriculum Night as a time to get organized. I’ve learned to split the sign up sheets between the two nights. For the Open House I leave out all that I need for the first day of school (how your child gets home and parent contact information) and on Curricululm Night I put out lists like parent volunteer and parent teacher night sign up.

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