Meet the Teacher Ideas for Back to School
With back to school approaching, you probably have a few ideas for Meet the Teacher night (or open house night as some like to call it). You want to make sure your future students are excited about the upcoming school year and about being in your classroom. This is especially true in kindergarten. It can take a lot of preparation and oftentimes feels overwhelming. However, it does not have to be stressful if you have a plan in place. Now is a great time to plan your school night activities!
Have the Right Printables Prepared
You can take a lot of stress out of Meet the Teacher if you have the right printables prepared beforehand. If your school does not provide them, you will want to have a sign-in sheet ready for parents as they stop by with their kids. This class list can include the parents name, the child's name, important contact information, etc. This is a great way that helps you to keep track of which parents you have already met.
Another good idea is that you may want to display a welcome sign, a class roster, and a volunteer form for parents. As parents are leaving, I’m sure they would appreciate a teacher business card. They might also like a fun ‘Meet the Teacher' handout with important information for them. You can also include some fun information to help their students get to know you a little bit.
All of these printables and more can be found in my Meet the Teacher Editable Printables packet in my TpT store. Having the right informative sheets prepared in advance can take a lot of stress out of the whole process. It can also help you to share important information with your incoming students and their parents.
Getting Students Excited
Another thing to consider when preparing for Meet the Teacher night is how to get students excited about the first day of school. This is an important thing for any grade level, but maybe even more so in kindergarten. For many of our incoming kindergarteners, this is their first school experience, perhaps their first time in a new classroom. They may be uncertain about what to expect. We can ease some of that anxiety by making sure they have a fun first experience when meeting their new teacher.
One of the ways I like to do this is by having some type of gift ready during the first week of school. Then, I add gift tags that let them know how excited I am for having them in my classroom. For example, I may attach a “I’ve been bubbling with excitement to see you” gift tag to bubbles. This is a little something they can take home with them. Including a thoughtful touch like this can really tie a neat bow onto a successful meet. You may even feel compelled to go as far as to include a friendly welcome letter. A simple gift is nice but not absolutely necessary. A simple, thoughtful letter can make a good impression too.
Another way to get students excited about coming to school is by having a scavenger hunt to complete within your classroom. Not only is this activity really fun for students, but it also helps them to become more familiar with their future classroom. They can search around the classroom for places labeled with their names, like desks, and cubbies. This is also a great opportunity for them to learn where the restroom is, the classroom library, and other places that students will need to know. This is the perfect time to show them around and that should also help with some first day jitters. Getting students excited about school will help set a precedent for the rest of the school year.
Remember the Purpose
As you are preparing to meet your students, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Remember the real reason for the event! It is an important time to meet students and their families and begin building those relationships that will be crucial to a smooth-running classroom throughout the school year. It does not have to be an extravagant production. As long as you are getting parents the information they need, while also helping students feel more at ease in your classroom, your Meet the Teacher event is sure to be a hit! If you keep this in mind, preparing can be so much simpler.
I'd love to hear more about your great ideas for when you meet new students. Whether it's a virtual meet, or in real life, every new school year should start with a pleasant, easy-going introduction and end in a good first impression. The end goal is to set a positive tone for the upcoming school season. There are plenty of different ways you can accomplish this but I hope this short list has given you a good place to start!