I can still remember my first Meet the Teacher Night as a classroom teacher. It was nerve wracking and exciting all at the same time. Mainly it was just crazy that people were actually entrusting me with their children. I was just a baby when I started teaching. Twenty two to be exact!
My first Meet the Teacher Night was a learning experience for sure. I did the best I could, but afterwards I made a long list of things to remember for the next year. This week I wanted to share some Meet the Teacher Night ideas to inspire you to create a memorable night for those kids and their parents!
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Planning for Meet the Teacher Night
Before any big event, a plan is always necessary. And Meet the Teacher Night counts as a big event in my book!
Start by creating a plan for what you want to do/offer that night in the way of activities. Write them all down in a notebook. Then create a detailed list of what items you will need to make or purchase for Meet the Teacher Night. I also like to write little notes to myself with details about each activity.
This year I will only have about three days in my classroom to setup and prep for Meet the Teacher Night so it’s important that I be really intentional with my time. I will likely spend the first two days solely on setting up my classroom. That leaves me with one day to prep for Meet the Teacher Night.
Within that day, I will schedule out time for each activity, paper, and packet I need to print or make. Time management is crucial during this day so that I am ready for my kids and their parents to enter.
To help you get ready for your Meet the Teacher Night activities, I have compiled a list of ten ideas you can incorporate into your plans.
Meet the Teacher Night Activities
1.Use Google Forms– Google has created some of the most amazing inventions for teachers. One of them being google forms. It is super easy to create a form for parents to fill out as they arrive. Then it compiles all of their information into a google sheet for easy access!
Here’s a quick video I made explaining how to create a google form!
2.Tour the Classroom-Allow your students time to tour the classroom and find areas such as their desk and the classroom library. I usually just type up a short list of things to find so the students can get familiar with their classroom.
3. Identify a “Kids Area”- It is inevitable that parents will bring all their children to Meet the Teacher Night and then you have like a zillion kids running around your room. At the writing station I put out some coloring pages and line some books along the edge of the whiteboard. When I notice little hands going for my freshly organized library, I quickly direct them over to the kid approved activities for them to partake in!
4. Be Organized- The most important thing to creating a memorable Meet the Teacher Night is to be organized. Make sure that your room is clean and clutter free. Parents see the environment you create as soon as they walk in. Make sure that they feel welcome and that you are an “on top of it” teacher and not a “crazy, messy” teacher!
5. School Scavenger Hunt- Sometimes the hardest part is getting the parents or kids out of your room. Allow your tour to end with a scavenger hunt around the rest of the school. They can go say “hi” to the librarian and give the coach a high five.
6. Use Folders for Papers– Each year I use folders to organize the student’s papers. Inside I have flyers to go home on one side and papers to be filled out at school on the other side. This way parents can put their completed forms back in the folder and leave it on their child’s desk. It makes it really easy for me to keep all those back to school papers organized.
7. Be Creative- Find a way to be creative. Maybe it is using a fun riddle to send your students on a tour around the room. Perhaps it is a creative way to ask for additional supplies. You can play music and show a slideshow of past classes on your projector so parents and students can get excited about having you as their teacher!
8. Shake Hands and Introduce Yourself- Make a good first impression by shaking the students hand and their parent’s hands as well. I always acknowledge the student first and shake their hand. It’s usually kind of awkward because they have no idea what they are doing (at least second graders). But you are teaching them social skills! After meeting the kids I make it a point to introduce myself to the parent by my first AND last name. I want my parents to realize that we are on the same playing field and I am their equal, not superior (or inferior). I encourage them to call me Kelly because that’s way friendlier!
9.Give Lots of Info- I would rather give my parents too much reading material, than not enough. I love these little foldables to send home with parents about all the things that we are going to be doing the upcoming year.
10. Collect Student Materials– This is always hit and miss because sometimes families don’t bring their materials. But if they do, I always have a place to collect them. Kids usually are pretty particular about their specials folders and spirals so I let them leave those at their new desk.
Is there anything I am missing for Meet the Teacher Night activities? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear your ideas!
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Until next time,
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