Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Meet the teacher night

About a week before school begins you will have a "Meet the Teacher Night". Here are some tips to help you get ready...

Before the event:

1. You'll probably have a list of your students names by now. Call each student and invite them and their families to the event. Calling them will help ensure a good turnout and sets up a good first impression. Meeting the teacher before the first day also will help alleviate the nervousness that some students feel.  Ask them to please bring any supplies they have purchased. While on the phone...if they can't come ask them how the child will be getting home on the first day of school and every other day after that.

2. Prepare a packet to hand out to each family that includes a "Getting to know you questionnaire", your classroom rules and procedures, a little bio about yourself and your goals for the year, and how you want parents to contact you.

3. Make a log in sheet for parents to sign when they arrive...make a few of the same and disperse them throughout the room, that way you won't have a line forming to sign the sheet. On the sheet have a place for them to put their phone number, email address, and most importantly how the child will get home on the first day of school and each day after. Most of the time with Kindergartners, parents will drop them off and pick them up the first day.

4. Put each child's name on a piece of paper or a post it note and attach it to a chair. This is where you will tell them to put any supplies they brought. Seeing their name somewhere in the classroom helps students feel more welcome!

During the event:

1. Wear a name tag and stand by the door, as families approach, introduce yourself and ask the student to go and find their name. Ask parents to please sign in and take a packet.

2. You'll want to try and avoid getting into in depth conversations on this night, mostly because you're going to be super overwhelmed with lots of people and you don't want to be rude to the other parents...if you find yourself being cornered by an over zealous parent, simply say that you really want to be sure and give them your full attention so let's go ahead and make an appointment or set up a good time to call and talk in more detail.

After the event:

1. If you aren't totally exhausted, make a little mental note of who brought supplies, who showed up, and whether or not they signed in.

2. Some teachers like to make a spreadsheet of the supplies that each student brought, but since I use a "community" approach to supplies I don't find that necessary.  I will go through the bags they brought and sort things into piles. If they have already put their names all over everything then set those things aside for later...nothing is more annoying then labeling all of the students take home folders just to have a parent call to say why aren't you using the folder they brought.

3. If you are totally wiped out...go home...and get some sleep all of the supplies will be there tomorrow. Uh-oh my procrastinating side is coming out. Seriously though you don't need to stress about the supplies just long as you have at least the crayons out on the first day you'll be fine.

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