Written by: Colette Roche

What you need to know for back to school night (3)

As you know, Back to School Night sets the tone for your entire year with the parents of your new students, and it opens the door to trust and cooperation. Here are general reminders as you prepare.

Your desired outcomes for the evening:

  1. Parents will say there is no other place they’d rather have their child than your classroom.
  2. Parents will think of you as their partner in the education of their child.

How do you do this?

  1. Demonstrate that you care about students and the curriculum, and you are competent to teach.
  2. Establish how communication will occur. Email. Schoology. PowerSchool.
  3. Create a relationship between teacher and parent – you want to partner with parents to educate children.

Establishing the initial tone:

  1. Clean classroom clutter. Reduce, remove, recycle.
  2. Display student work.
  3. Dress professionally.
  4. Greet parents at the door with a smile.

Create a presentation

  1. Give parents an idea of who you are.
  2. Stay positive. Ex: Focus on high expectations, not on consequences.
  3. Consider using a handout that provides an overview of the flow ofclass, major projects, books, etc.

What to include in your presentation:

  1. Introduce yourself (name, years of experience, degrees, other school responsibilities, teaching philosophy, etc.)
  2. Provide an overview of class: What do students learn? Why is it important? How will they learn in your class? What kinds of assignments will students do? How do you provide feedback? How will parents use PowerSchool and Schoology to stay involved with their student’s work?

Provide an open line of communication:

  1. Provide email, voicemail, phone calls, Remind, etc.
  2. Show your Schoology page.
  3. Clearly describe the roles of parent, teacher, student.

It’s a good idea to pass around a sign-in sheet so you know who attended. Have parents print their name, their child’s name, and an email address or phone number.

Remember that parking is at a premium for Back to School Night. When possible, carpool and remember to arrive early.

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