It's time to kick off the Back to School season. Do you host an Open House or a Meet the Teacher night before school officially starts? If this is your first year hosting a “Meet the Teacher,” I'm going to share all my tips and tricks on how to host the best night for your future students and their parents.
Greet your families at the door
This is most likely the first time you are meeting your students and their families and you want to set the tone. I like to recommend teachers standing at the door ready to greet, shake hands and welcome the families into the room.
Display a Welcome and Instructions
Sometimes when your parents come in the room, you might be chatting with another family. When families arrive at the Open House, you want them to know exactly what to do. I like displaying my “instructions” on the front board so families know what I want them to do. This might include:
- Signing in
- Filling out forms (parent questionnaire, transportation instructions, volunteer sheet)
- An activity for students to do
- Papers to read over
I also like to have signs and stations so that parents know exactly what to do. Again, this will free you up in case you are preoccupied with other things. Here's my pro tip: make sure your pens work! It seems like every year I have a cup full of pens that don't seem to work when my parents go to write something down and I'm frantically looking through my desk to find some!
Meet the Teacher
I always like to have a one page “Meet the Teacher” on my students' desks. This is something that they can take with them that will give them some background on me and some fun facts as well. I like to include my teaching background as well as some of my personal life. Finally, I'll include some fun facts like my favorite food, book, sports team, etc. My students always love that they already know a little bit about me before the first day of school.
This is one the of most important things, in my opinion, to have ready for an Open House. In my handbook, I include a class list, our daily schedule, specials schedule, important policies and procedures as well as tips for a successful school year. It's great to provide this to parents ahead of time and give them time to read through it and digest it. It sets the tone for a great school year.
Open House nights are definitely stressful and nerve-wracking, but once your families start coming in, you'll relax and enjoy meeting them all! The best part: you get to meet all your new shining stars who are just as eager to meet YOU! Enjoy it!