It’s hard to believe, but before you know it you’ll be welcoming back students and parents. This year, try something new to make all of your families welcome. This idea by Heidi Samuelson of Swamp Frog First Graders is one way to do just that. Originally posted in 2011, Heidi’s ideas hold true years later. She has a wonderful way of making all parents and students feel welcome.
Back to School Parent Meeting with a Twist
by Heidi Samuelson
“Welcome Back to School” are a few of my favorite words! I love the beginning of a new school year especially since it gives me the opportunity to try new things out with the fresh young minds that walk into my classroom ready to be shaped and molded! However, it’s not just the young minds, but also the “older” minds that come with those precious new children, that need some guidance in getting ready for all we plan to do during the upcoming year together!
The First Grade Teaching Team I work with is fabulous! Before school even begins, we get together to start creating a power point of things we want to share with our parents during our first grade parent information meeting. Having this meeting before the kids come back to school allows us to give important information to help start the year off well. We create slides with pictures from our various classrooms that help review things like common procedures and rules to things that we do as a grade level and the exciting events to look forward to during the upcoming school year.
We put together a special invitation letter to pass out on our county registration day as the parents come to register their children. We also make a point to call or email all our parents (new to the school as well as “repeat” families) to invite them to this informative meeting. In the invite, we make sure to let them know they can bring any supplies that are too large to fit into their child’s backpack (like those boxes of Kleenex or baby wipes they’re so generous to donate). This helps alleviate that fear of “How am I going to get all this stuff to school on the first day of school with my first grader?”.
On the day of the meeting, the First Grade Teachers take turns talking about each slide of the presentation and answering questions from the group of parents in a central location. We’re going to try something new this year to help those parents that can’t get off work to come to this informative meeting. We plan to tape information for each slide of the power point show. Then we’ll create a movie from the power point show to add to our individual web pages this year. We hope to reach as many parents as we can during this special time of the year. Getting that parent relationship off to a positive start is so important in making the school year with the children successful!
Enjoy getting ready for your new school year and think about creating your own power point presentation for your parents. You’ll be surprised at the positive response you’ll get for your efforts!
About The Author
Heidi Samuelson is a First Grade Teacher from Tennessee and author of the blog Swamp Frog First Graders. She invites you to “Hop by the Swamp” for more creative ways to start the year with math and reading station ideas!