3 Tips to have a Back to School Night that will ROCK!

Make your Back to School Night Rock with these 3 tips that are sure to get your parents feeling at ease and ready for the school year!

Parents can't wait to meet their child's teacher on Back to School Night. They want to see the classroom and observe first hand where their child will be spending 6 hours everyday, actually, in some cases, more time than their children see their parents, if you figure each child sleeps about 8 hours at night.

And teachers...well....teachers may be a bit nervous because let's face it...it is a bit hard to stand in front of an audience of parents who only want the best for their child and you are it...you are their teacher!

I know with myself, I was always a bit nervous even after doing this presentation for over 30 years!

I always had some butterflies in the pit of my stomach and some jitters because I did not want to mess up and I wanted to present my best self no matter what...pressure on myself...absolutely.

Through the years I have come up with some easy tricks which helped me "get through it" and shine, shine, shine!

PS I am sorry if this is late and you have already had your Back to School Night, but just save this post for next year or I will post it again!!

1. I was a Responsive Classroom Teacher and being a teacher who used the  Responsive Classroom approach, we always started our day with a Morning Meeting, which included a greeting, sharing activity and  morning message.  That being said, I always had a message on my chart board or smart board as the parents walked in for the evening.

It said something like this, "Good Evening, I am so glad you were able to come in this evening to take a peek at your child's classroom. 

  • Please stroll around the room and take a look at some of the work you child's has completed in this short time we have been together.
  • Find your child's seat and read the letter that was written especially for you!
  • Please write a note to your child and we will start our evening after the announcements! Welcome!

Easy peasy and it gives you a bit of time to walk around and chat informally with the parents for a few minutes....breathe....ahhhhhhhhhh!

2.  Before we actually got started, I explained briefly how we were a Responsive Classroom and had a Morning Meeting every morning and that We were going to have a brief meeting tonight to show parents how this approach worked.

  • I would then ask parents to talk to the other adults at their table. 
  • Say "hi" and introduce yourself and share something about your self.
  • After a few minutes, I would ring my chime, which is the "attention getter" I used in the classroom and they were to stop chatting and look at me.
  • Sometimes I would set up that when I rang the chime, they were to move to a different partner and chat with them...but that is up to you and how you feel your parents might respond.
This was always an ice breaker and the parents always began to chat and laugh and have a good ole' time.  Sometimes I made a funny comment like, "Ahhh...now I understand why I have so many chatty students in my class this year!"  They would all get a chuckle out of this!

I would then ask them to share something that they learned about one of the adults at their table or about someone with whom they chatted.  Usually a few would share and if not, I would start and share! 

3.  Now we were ready to really get started and all of the parents were relaxed and ready to hear what Room U-1 was all about!! 

I would always start by saying, "YOU (the parents) are the most important person in your child's life and you know them better than anyone so it is important that WE work together as a team and make sure there is an open communication between home and school to ensure your child receives the BEST education possible!    

I would also make sure to have all the important information in a hard copy in a folder with their child's name...My classroom Brochure with all the important info was right on top along with district information and a few house keeping details.

Then I had a Power Point which had everything and anything that I felt was important for parents to understand and know about their child's classroom and teaching philosophies.  

Having a Power Point was fabulous because everything was written on it with cute pictures etc.  It helped me stay on topic and impressed the parents. I had visuals set up to support the slides and everyone was laughing and totally felt at ease.

Granted...some years were better than others, but these 3 tips will make your Back to School night Rock and maybe add a little sparkle to your night!

Have a Sparkling Year!!!