Meet the Teacher


Top Tips for Meet the Teacher

Meet the Teacher Night can be an exciting time!  There is so much to say and do.  We want to meet everyone, know how students are getting to and from school, what they are eating for lunch and inform parents of anything they must know for the first week of school. And that is not even the important stuff!  Being a teacher is all about building relationships with students and their families.  We have a few minutes to initially learn about our new students so they have a super successful first week and year. My number one tip is to focus on relatonships and your incoming students and families.  

To focus on relationships, here are four questions that I make sure I ask students and families at Meet the Teacher.

    1. What name do you like to be called and how do you pronounce it?
From my personal experience I know that this question can make such a difference. My name is Cecelia, but as a kid everyone called me “Cissy”. I preferred to be called “Cecelia”.  It seemed as if everyone called me “Cissy” and no one ever asked me what I preferred.  It wasn’t until we moved that people called me Cecelia.  I always wished a teacher had asked me what I preferred. It is of the utmost importance that we know how to say our student’s names. I always ask and sometimes write it down phonetically.  I usually think of words that rhyme with their name so I can remember.  I have been called Sicily, Cecil, Cecily, Celeste and even Celica.  It drove me crazy but I never corrected anyone because I was too shy and usually embarrassed.  I always learn how to correctly say student’s names so I make all students feel valued and important. 

 2. Are you excited about school?
This simple question can tell us so much about how the student feels about school.  I follow it  up with, “What is your favorite part of school?”  This is where they share what they enjoy and think they are successful with.  It allows students to reflect on what makes them feel good about themselves. What is more important is what they don’t say. I mentally note their responses so I am aware of areas where they may need a little TLC. 
   3. What is something you wish I knew about you?
As a first grade teacher, I have noticed that this is a question student’s parents usually answer and that is ok.  I want to build a relationship with them, too.  These are their babies whom are their entire lives.  They want to know that they will be cared for.  If you know what parents worry about, and report back on it, you are building trust.

 4. What do you expect from me as your teacher?
We have so many expectations for our students so it's important to see what our students and parents expect from us. With the littles, it is usually the parents that answer this question and it is so revealing to see what they say.  It not only tells about their student’s previous school experiences but also the parents. After the parents speak, I ask the child.  Sometimes they say the same thing as their parents but I am always surprised about how well they know themselves as a learner and what they need.

I made these sheets to give you more time to build relationshipsHave parents sign in, tell their student’s dismissal routine and sign up to volunteer so you don't have to communicate with them about these things.  It's important but not as important as building trust and relationships.  I use the same volunteer sheet at Meet the Teacher Night and Back to School Night to allow all parents the opportunity to sign up. Download the signs and sheets here.

While you are busy getting to know students and families, you want to make sure that you appear organized and prepared.  Here are some tips to help you show how AMAZING you are.

Have something for families to do while waiting to talk to you. I leave out photo props for parents to take pictures of their students.  Parents LOVE these and always thank me for these!  These are from Beginning of the Year Activities Back to School Mega Unit.

Have something for your students to take home.  I leave these Magic Streamers on students desks along with forms for parents to fill out.  These Magic First Day of School Streamers help children have sweet dreams the night before school begins.  I let the children know I use them every year and they take away all my worries, too. These are from  Beginning of the Year Activities  Back to School Mega Unit, too.

magic streamers, first day jitters

Students also get this cute little gift from me that are from the same resource.

open house gifts, meet the teacher night gift

Because you want to spend your time fostering relationships, give parents the information they want to take home and read or read while they are waiting to talk to you.  I leave this flip book at students seats to tell families  all about first grade.  These are editable so you can customize them for your room.  They are also from Beginning of the Year Activities Back to School Mega Unit.

back to school flip book

I hope this helps you organize your Meet the Teacher Night. If you want to read about what I do on the first day of school, check out this blog post.  I also have this blog post including my best back to school tips that you may want to read.

Please let me know what you do for Meet the Teacher Night!  I love hearing new ideas.

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