August 30, 2015

Keeping Meet the Teacher Night Fun, Simple, & Successful

Happy Sunday y'all! I wanted to pop in today to share a bit about Meet the Teacher night. 

Meet the Teacher is always an exciting night. The kids are so excited to see their friends and visit their new classrooms. And although we teachers spend the whole day running around the school like chickens with our head's cut off pulling every last minute thing together, it is sooo worth it to see the excitement on the faces of your new students! Not to mention all the hugs you get from former students (which may actually be my favorite part).

Our Meet the Teacher is only an hour so things go by quick! I have to be super organized to get everything done in the small amount of time I have and I MUST prioritize.

First, I make sure my room is clean, organized, and inviting

I have been working very hard this year to make sure I don't have stacks of anything anywhere. Nothing on top of my book shelves or storage cabinets. No extra stuff out or stored on top/out of the way. My goal is to make sure everything has a place.  #organizationaldream

I always set up desks with the most important information and a post-it with the student's name. One of the first things I ask my parents to do, is check that name post-it and make any name/spelling changes on the post-it before I start labeling things all over the room.

Another goal this year was to downsize all the paperwork I burdened parents with on this night. I kept the absolute essentials. Everything on the left is what I asked parents to complete before leaving and I got it down to 5 papers!  Yes! 

My essentials include a transportation form, Parent 3-2-1 (student info), correspondence report, Edmodo permission slip, and *new this year* a class Instagram account information page. I'm absolutely LOVING the class Instagram account. You can get the same great resources for setting up your own classroom Instagram here

The folder on the right had all the goods and forms from the office. And on top of that was... the ultimate 4th grade Handbook Flipbook filled with great information and most frequently asked questions in 4th grade. I'm totally obsessed with it!  

It was super easy to modify and put together. I put a magnet on the back and asked my parents to keep it on the fridge so it would be handy all year. I addressed everything from homework expectations to our 4th grade grading policy on those pages.  I'm hoping it is a great resource for my parents.  You can find the one I used here

I do talk for a few minutes but mostly to introduce myself, explain the paperwork and give quick instructions. Then I mingle with parents and students and let my rotating PowerPoint do the rest. Easy peasy!

I try to keep everything easy for parents from the beginning. I always have my contact information posted and I always make sure there are enough pens on the desk for everyone and their younger sibling to use one.

Meet the Teacher is also a great night to get volunteers! Our amazing PTA puts together sign-up forms for us and delivers them to our room before the big event.  Aren't they awesome?  I also put out a Fall Conference Sign-Up sheet. 

Finally, I always include The Giving Tree.  I got smart this year and printed my apples on red paper. For things that are really specific, I just print pictures off and put those directly on the board. So easy! I include things like baby wipes, colored pencils, index cards, ziplocs (all sizes), books, expo markers, glitter, and lunch bags. I'm always amazed and grateful to how much gets donated to our classroom.

Meet the Teacher night is always a whirlwind of excitement and fun for students and teachers! I enjoy spending my time meeting my new parents, getting to know my new students, and reconnecting with families from the past.

What do you do to keep Meet the Teacher night fun, simple, and successful? 



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