Back to School Night or Meet the Teacher Night can be stressful for teachers and new parents and students. This year we have some ideas from real classroom teachers who know how to put their new pupils and their parents at ease. Whether your Back to School Night is before school starts or after it is underway, these easy techniques are sure to make a great impression and ease anxiety.
Back to School Night Ideas for Teachers
A Magical Way to Break the Ice with New Students and Parents
“It’s always fun to “wow” my students and their parents – especially as soon as we meet,” says Cheryl, a 1st Grade Teacher from Elk Grove, California. “For inspiration, I visit a magic or joke shop and purchase a simple but astonishing trick to work into my first class or meeting. The trick can be as simple as a card illusion or something more fun and crafty like a ‘magic coloring book’ with pages that seem to change before your very eyes. My students and parents love my tricks; my magic play leaves a positive first impression, and leaves them eager to come back to school for more.”
Put a Techno Spin on Your Welcome Back
“Before the new school year begins, I like to inform my students about what to expect, and what supplies they’ll need. Instead of preparing 25-30 postcards, I print labels inviting my new students to meet me in cyberspace on my website,” explains Jennifer, a 4th Grade Teacher from Abbeville, South Carolina. “I send them my website address, log on information, and password. My website contains my welcome letter, school information, rules, procedures, supply list, pictures of my classroom, class lists, games, etc. Many parents and students tell me that they were so excited to log on and be able to see and learn about my classroom. A website is a great way to easily get information to parents and help students feel welcome–and you can post information, homework, happenings, and photos to it all year long!”
Map Skills at Their Best
If your Back to School Night happens a week or so after school begins, Heather’s idea fits right in. “Our 6th grade Social Studies unit includes a focus on map skills,” the Burbank, California teacher explains. “After presenting students with map basics, including map vocabulary, I have each student create a personalized “treasure” map of our classroom, with the “treasure chest” being his or her own desk. During Back-to-School Night, each student presents his map to his parents. The parents then use the maps to locate their children’s desks, each overflowing with a treasure trove of student work samples. This activity allows children and their parents a chance to experience authentic map skills in action.”
What do you do to introduce yourself to new students and parents?
Are there things that you have tried that worked great for Back to School night?
Share your ideas below! We’d love to hear from you!