Start Back to School Right – Avoid These Top 5 Missteps
Back to School Night can seem so scary, even for veteran teachers. Possible scenarios might be running through your mind…parent heckles you, no one shows up, toddler screams during presentation, etc. Make Back to School Night your first step in building a positive culture with your parents. Avoid these 5 teacher behaviors to ensure a successful Back to School Night.
1. The Long Lecture: Each year as I prepare my Back to School Night presentation, I always want to add as much information as possible to make sure parents understand policies, procedures and expectations. The reality is less is more. Parents simply want to meet you, get a feel for the room and take home quality handouts that they can refer back to in their leisure. Keep your presentation short and simple (less than 10 minutes).
2. The Condescending Tone: Although I want to explain everything clearly for parents, I always make sure to be mindful of my tone. Education is a partnership and you want to make parents feel that they are valuable members of the team.
3. The Teacher Jargon: If I had a dollar for every teacher acronym, I could retire. Stay away from these terms with parents, they are confusing and overwhelming. It leaves parents with more questions than answers and they will tune you out.
4. The Frigid Welcome: Nerves can come off as coldness or arrogance. Remember to smile and greet each parent and student with genuine interest. Take time to listen to and respond to questions. This is your chance to make a good first impression and it will set the stage for the rest of the year. Even after 10 years, I get nervous. I find it helpful to take deep breaths and think positive thoughts.
5. The Unprepared Classroom: Parents can easily tell which teachers took the time and effort to prepare for Back to School Night and which ones just showed up. Welcome parents with refreshments, handouts and an activity for students to complete.
Need help getting ready for Back to School and Curriculum Night? Our Welcome Back to School Customizable Parent Packet & Curriculum Night Guide covers it all! These forms and letters include everything needed for the beginning of the year from curriculum and grading to student information card and parent directory. All are customizable, allowing you to make quick and easy changes to make appropriate for your classroom.