Back to School Night can be a source of stress for many teachers.  Make Back To School Night a little less stressful with these helpful tips:

Be Prepared
Have everything ready to go the day before your Back To School Night.  Make the most of your time by getting everything ready ahead of time so you can focus on having a successful evening.  If you are giving a presentation, practice it several times so you appear confident and competent

Dress Professionally
You don’t want to make a bad first impression.  Men should wear slacks, and a dress shirt and tie (a coat and tie is most professional).  Ladies should wear a pant suit, a blouse with skirt or slacks, or a dress.  Lay off the heavy perfume and cologne, but don’t hesitate to throw on more deodorant just before parents arrive.

Provide a printed calendar and note important dates throughout the school year.  Field trips, due dates of large projects, holidays, days off of school, parties, parent-teacher conferences, and testing dates are just some of the important events you should note on a parent calendar.  Parents appreciate knowing this information in advance.

Curriculum and Programs Information
Your building or district may already have this information posted on a website, or available in printed form.  However, it is always a good idea to let parents know what their child will be learning in your classroom.  It can be as simple as making a bulleted list of concepts, or writing a short summary of what you will be teaching.  Tell parents what programs/textbooks you use for core subjects.  Don’t forget to include any tiered or RTI programs your school provides for students who need them.

Let Parents Know How They Can Help
Create a list of things parents to do to help your classroom.  You may need supplies or other materials for your classroom, and providing parents this list may get you what you need!  It is also helpful to provide a list of volunteer opportunities, or a description of how a parent can help.

Don’t forget to provide your contact information.  You may also want to be clear about your preferred method of communication.  Explain to parents how you will get information to them throughout the year (email blast, newsletter, class website, etc.).

Make sure you have an easy-to-read schedule to give to parents.
Include the school day’s start and end times, along with any other times you may think parents will find helpful (lunch, specials, class periods, etc.).

Ways To Help Their Student
Create a list of ways parents can help their students to be successful in your classroom.  This may look like a compilation of apps and websites that help strengthen skills, or it may be things parents can do with their children.

Will you be using online tools in your classroom that will need to be accessed at home?  If so, provide a brief explanation of these tools.

Describe your classroom management, class/building rules, and expectations.  This includes student behavior, in-class assignments, homework, projects, policies for make-up work, etc.

Introduce Yourself
Tell a little about yourself.  How many years have you taught?  What grade levels and subjects?  Where did you go to school?  Including a few pictures may help parents view you as more personable.

Be Brief
It’s difficult to squeeze ALL of your vital classroom information into a 10-minute presentation, or onto a double-sided, 8.5 X 11 piece of paper.  Stick to the items you feel will be most helpful for student success.  Parents aren’t looking for a classroom manual, but rather some key points that will give them a sense of what the school year will be like for their student.

Have Fun
Let your personality shine through.  Incorporate a little humor, or even a little emotion, into the evening.

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