Welcome Back to School!
If you are at all like me, you can’t wait to get to Target to peruse all of the new Back to School goodies they have in stock.
My little teacher heart still flutters at the sight of all the bright colors, fresh designs on planners and the new mini erasers! I always felt so inspired and ready to go until…
I get back to my boxed up, out of place classroom that hasn’t been touched since June.
My excitement turns to panic.
My to do list suddenly feels impossible.
Does this sound familiar?
(Please tell me I am not alone!)
But then I remember,
“I can do this! I do it every year. I just have to have a plan.”
The Plan: Prioritize
Aside from moving the physical furniture into place, I prioritize what needs to be done so I can welcome my students and their families into my classroom for the first time. This means prepping for my Classroom Open House.
Today, I’m sharing what has worked in my classroom in hopes that it will save YOU time and stress leading into your Open House, Meet the Teacher or Back to School Night.
Tip #1: Welcome Students by Introducing Yourself
This may seem super obvious to some but as a first year teacher, it never occurred to me to formally introduce myself to my families. Since then, I always have name tags ready next to the Open House Sign In, along with my Meet The Teacher letter to help families learn a little bit about who I am.
Tip #2: "Know the Flow"
Have Signs (with or without numbers) posted around the room to guide families where to go. As overwhelming as this event can be to you, it is also a lot for parents and students to take in. Remember, this is their FIRST time in your classroom. Having numbered stations helps the general flow of the event, decreasing congestion in the room.
Tip #3: Have an Organized Supply Drop Off
Grab some bins (I got mine at Dollar Tree) and attach labels for students to sort supplies. If you don’t have bins to work with, use thick, paper shopping bags or designate specific places around the room for students to drop supplies. Having students organize those supplies during Open House is a HUGE time saver when it comes to having those items ready for use on the first day of school!
Tip #4: Information Trade
Think about the purpose of Open House Events. The goal is for families to visit and get to know their students’ new learning environment. It is also important for teachers to touch base and build rapport with parents/guardians. For many (especially working parents), this is a rare opportunity to talk to the teacher face to face and for the teacher to get valuable information about the child before school begins. This is why I have all my forms ready to go for Open House.
While parents complete the sign ups and forms on clipboards, the students use their time to complete a simple Classroom Scavenger Hunt to get to know their new surroundings.
Tip #5: Get Students Excited for the First Day
I like to give my students a little something special at Meet the Teacher to get them excited for the first day of school. I love giving Pop It Key Chains as a little gift because they can also be used as a sensory tool during those first weeks. I attach a little gift tag and it is all smiles from there!
I hope these tips are helpful as you prepare for your own Open House or Meet the Teacher event! You can click any of the pictures in this post to learn more.
Still Feeling Overwhelmed? Let me help! Click here to grab my Open House Kit at 30% off and have the planning done for you!