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Design by
Lisa Dempsey

 


Back to School Night: The Preparation
About This Daily Classroom Special
Back to School Night was created by former Teachers Network Web Mentor Kristi Thomas, Band Director at William F. Halley Elementary School, Fairfax Station, Virginia. 

First Things First

  • During the first week of school, practice the first and last names of your students - feel entirely comfortable pronouncing all of them by Back to School Night.

  • Remember that students' and parents' last names are not necessarily the same. Some students may live with adults other than their parents or have parents who are divorced or separated. Take the time to know the proper name associations for your class. You might find help with this from your guidance counselor, or from records in the office. Your attention to this important detail will be appreciated.

  • If you do not have time to go home between school and Back to School Night, bring clothes to change into. You'll feel better if you have taken some time to freshen up and change.

  • Be well-groomed and dress appropriately. Remember these children are their parents' most precious possession. They need to trust you. If you look a mess or disheveled, they won't be willing to put their confidence in you right away.

  • Be sure to have something to eat, taking a few minutes to sit down and relax between the school day and Back to School Night. Sometimes I like to do this alone, visualizing the evening and thinking through what I have planned to do and say. It helps to calm me down.

  • Straighten up your classroom - make it look organized and inviting. Hide the extras piles of paper, empty the trash.

  • Have extra chairs. It is unnerving and uninviting to have parents standing around, or to have to rush around at the last minute looking for chairs.

  • Prepare any hand-outs, forms, or overheads ahead of time. Have a colleague proof them, and have plenty on hand. There is more detailed information about what might be important to give parents in the On Each Desk portion of this Daily Classroom Special.

  • Have a sign-in sheet.

  • Put a sign-up sheet for parent conferences on a table with a pencil and an eraser. Schedule each conference for twenty minutes to one half hour. Set up the sheet to include lunch and several short bathroom breaks. Even though our conferences aren't until late October or November, it is convenient for everyone to plan ahead.

  • Have the overview of the units of study written on the blackboard or on an overhead for you to discuss with parents. Some of us prefer to have our schedule for the day on the board, which we would then use as a reference. This will keep you focused.

  • Be in your room, TOTALLY ready, one half hour before the starting time. Some parents will arrive early, and you'll want to be ready for them.

 

On Each Desk

The Presentation

 

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