The beginning of the school year is such an exciting time! Meeting my students for the first time is one of my favorite things about the beginning of the year. I have found that a well-planned Meet the Teacher night provides a great opportunity to meet students and their families. Plus, it allows me to share and gather important information necessary for the first day of school. If you’re looking for some ideas to make the most of this time, check out these tips for a successful Meet the Teacher night!
7 Tips for a Successful Meet the Teacher Night
1 – Have a Self-Directed Activity
It can be tempting to gather all of the parents together to share important information once to the whole group. However, this can be challenging with some people arriving early, most arriving right on time, and several arriving late. You’ll find yourself repeating this information anyway, so use the staggered arrival time to your advantage!
By having the families participate in a self-directed activity during Meet the Teacher night, it gives you time to greet each family as they arrive. After you’ve had a chance to chat briefly, the families can take care of some important tasks at their own pace. I suggest having this list written down for easy reference – a Meet the Teacher scavenger hunt is always a hit!
2 – Encourage a Classroom Tour
However you decide to organize your Meet the Teacher night, be sure to give students and their families plenty of time to explore the classroom. It’s especially important for students to locate their seats and backpack cubbies. It’s very helpful for first-day nerves when students know where they will put their belongings and sit down when they first get to school. Plus, it makes classroom management a bit easier on that first morning!
3 – Gather Important Information from Parents
While there are some parent questionnaires that can be taken home and returned, make sure to gather the most important information from parents while they’re at Meet the Teacher night. For example, be sure to get confirmation of how students are being transported to and from school. Parents usually provide this information to the school district during registration, but I’ve found there are often exceptions on the first few days of school. This is why it’s important to confirm transportation during Meet the Teacher night.
4 – Provide Helpful Information for Parents
Meet the Teacher night is a great opportunity to answer common questions that parents often have on their minds. A great way to do this is to provide each family with a parent handbook. I like to use a flipbook format because it is eye-catching and it invites parents to actually flip through and read it. Plus, families are less likely to lose a colorful flipbook in a stack of loose papers.
I have created an easy-to-use resource to share with teachers who want to use a flipbook for their parent handbooks. It is editable so that you can make it fit the needs of your classroom. This resource comes with two flipbook options: One option folds each sheet of paper and the other uses cut pieces of paper.
5 – Introduce the Take-Home Folder
If you plan on using a take-home folder during the year, take the time to show it to parents during Meet the Teacher night. Even though the labeled pockets of take-home folders are designed to be self-explanatory, it’s still helpful to remind parents how important it is for them to check the folder when it is sent home. By mentioning it during Meet the Teacher night, it will stick out to parents as an important part of their child’s school routine.
6 – Collect School Supplies
Meet the Teacher night is a convenient time for students to drop off their school supplies. This way, they’re not trying to deal with large bags of school supplies on the bus or in the drop-off line on the first day of school. In the past, I’ve been able to get large paper bags donated by a grocery store. I put each student’s name on a paper bag and leave it at their seats. When families are on the classroom tour and locate their child’s seat, they can put all of the school supplies in the bag and leave it on the desk. By collecting school supplies during Meet the Teacher night, you have time to deal with them at your convenience.
7 – End with a Meet the Teacher Gift
Consider ending the self-directed activities by having students check in with you for a special surprise! A Meet the Teacher gift doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated! The main purpose is to make sure the families have one final check-in before leaving. This gives them a chance to ask any questions that popped up as they toured the classroom and flipped through the handbook. It’s also a good time to get students excited about all of the back-to-school fun they’re going to have!
I like to hand out glow stick necklaces with these fun notes attached. It’s a simple way to show students how excited I am to have them in my class!
Free Printables for Meet the Teacher Night
I have created several freebies to help you plan your next Meet the Teacher Night. I have even compiled them into one time-saving bundle! In this free resource, you’ll find:
- Student Information Sheets and Transportation Form (English and Spanish)
- Classroom Scavenger Hunt for Kindergarten to 2nd Grade, with a blank version for each.
- Star Gift Labels
- Take-Home Folder Labels
Just fill out the form below and this free download will be delivered straight to your inbox. You’ll be well on your way to planning a successful Meet the Teacher night!
Save These Meet the Teacher Night Ideas
I hope this post has given you some ideas for Meet the Teacher night! If you’re short on time, just add this pin to your favorite classroom board on Pinterest. You’ll be able to quickly find these tips and resources when you need them! If you’d like to take a closer look at how I set up my own Meet the Teacher night, you can find a walkthrough here.