I have a confession to make. One of the most exciting yet terrifying nights of the school year for me has got to be Meet-the-Teacher Night! While I am always so excited to meet my new students and their family, Meet-the-Teacher is always after consecutive full days of in-service, trainings, and did I mention information OVERLOAD?! ;)
While these trainings are all very necessary for the new school year, the thought of getting my classroom reorganized after summer cleaning and ready for my students in a very short amount of time can be very daunting and to be honest, STRESSFUL!
Yet, despite all the odds against us...., TEACHERS, We CAN make it FUN, and we can definitely make it STRESS-FREE for us as well!
Making things simple sounds counter-intuitive. Yet when we have a million and one things to do on top of the million and one things we already have to do for Meet-the-Teacher, it is easy to overlook these small but important details. For example, if you have forms for parents to fill out, leave pens and pencils that are readily available at their child's desk for them. Placing a sign at the designated area where you want parents to turn in the forms would also help avoid any confusion and free up your time to meet other students who are arriving. Any other information such as a daily schedule and other important details should also be on the students' desks for parents to take home afterwards.
Because Meet-the-Teacher Night can also be exciting and very overwhelming for students and parents, I always do my best to keep it simple for them. Warmly greet them at the door, ask parents to sign in, find their child's table/desk and cubby, and encourage them to simply take a walk around the classroom. Labeling different learning areas will help parents and students navigate through the classroom with ease while becoming more familiar with it. In addition, if you are teaching little ones, don't forget to ask parents to indicate how their child will be dismissed on the first day of school and the rest of the year! Once you have this important information, you can begin making dismissal tags or lists before the first day of school! I do this directly on the sign-in sheet.
Since students are likely to bring in their supplies that very night, organizing school supplies can be a very time consuming task. Enlist help from parents and students! Not only is it fun for the students, it also gives you a good idea of how much supplies you have coming into the beginning of the school year. Placing labels throughout the classroom with bins or baskets for parents and students to simply drop their supplies in has always been a BIG help for me.
And help does not have to end with organizing school supplies! If you would like for parents to sign up to volunteer in the classroom or at your school, this is a wonderful opportunity to encourage them to do so! No matter if it is returning leveled-books back to the library, reorganizing your classroom library or cutting out lamination, this is the perfect time to enlist help!
Have parents and students walk away from your classroom filled with excitement and joy for the new school year! Whether it be photo booth or a simple gift for students to walk away with, leave students with a happy memory of the evening! Below is a Pencil Tag FREEBIE from my store. Simply cut and attach to any pencil for a fun gift for your students!
We plan. We worry. We get stressed. But like every year, it's going to be wonderful, and it's going to be alright! Do the best that you can, stay positive, and smile! Nothing like a teacher standing at his or her door smiling and warmly welcoming his/her new students and their family! The room might not look exactly how you want it to be and the rest of the lesson plans still need to be done for the first week of school, but tonight.... all the students want to do is meet you and see how wonderful their new teacher is! Have fun and don't forget to SMILE!!! :)
Thank you for reading! If you need more resources, check out my Meet-the-Teacher Packet below. It's all you need to help you organize your classroom as you prepare to meet your new students! From sign-in sheets to parent letters to a welcome letter to student information cards to cubby tags to dismissal charts and MORE! And did I mention?! It comes with EDITABLE FILES!!!