Meeting the parents of your students during the hustle and bustle of the new school year can be overwhelming. Back to school is synonymous with busy, and early elementary parents and kids always come ready with questions and enthusiasm. Make your open house night carefree with these tips for a stress-free back to school night.
Share a wish list.
Parents will often ask what you need in classroom, especially during the fall. Give them a list of supplies that will help your classroom run smoothly or special things you need throughout the year for class parties or other special events. Parents are more apt to give when they know exactly what you need. Remind them that this is totally optional, and they should only give if they are willing and able. Consider adding tissues, dry erase markers (or chalk), glue sticks, and pencils to your supply wish list. Those are the things that always seem to run out first!
Set your expectations.
Giving the same speech over and over to different students can be exhausting. Make sure to share your expectations for behavior, homework, and other classroom procedures in a back to school night brochure. Putting everything in one place will help your students and their parents understand what to expect from your classroom for the year.
Give a brief curriculum overview.
Another thing you can share in the open house brochure is a little bit about what your students will learn in the upcoming year. This brochure has headings for Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, and Math, so you can share the big goals and standards for your students. This will not only tell parents what to expect when it comes to learning in the classroom but also share what they can ask their children about at home to reinforce the concepts they are learning.
Have a digital back to school presentation on Google Slides starting with a “Meet the Teacher” slide. Share about your educational background, your family, and what makes you. . .you! Sharing a little personal information about yourself will help you connect with parents and families. I like to tell about pets, favorites sports teams, and of course, my favorite books! A digital presentation is something you can update in just a few minutes each year to make your back to school night virtually stress-free!
Give a gift.
Don’t spend a bunch of your hard earned money on a back to school night gift for students and parents. Instead, print some cute DIY monster bookmarks to encourage literacy, or write a letter and include a sweet treat with a school theme like “Smarties”. Give your contact information (email and school phone number) on the sweet freebie for parents to be able to get ahold of you with questions throughout the year. Open communication is the best at building community with families.
Open house doesn’t have to take hours to plan. Use a back to school night brochure and other fun tips for a stress-free back to school night!