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Back to School Night: The Presentation

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. 

The time has arrived...

  • As the parents enter your classroom, introduce yourself and allow them to introduce themselves. Try to remember which child goes with which parent. Do your best to make verbal contact with each parent before you begin your presentation.
  • Begin the presentation by introducing yourself - full name, experience you have had with children - student teaching, summer camps, tutoring... It is not necessary to state that this is your very first year of teaching. If asked, a simple "yes" will do.
  • Be sure to introduce assistants, aides or student teachers who are working with your class. Ask them to be present if at all possible. These are people your students will be working with, and it is important for the parents to get to know them as well.
  • STAY POSITIVE. Focus on your expectations and goals. Remain professional in your comments regarding your students' past learning experiences.
  • Present you philosophy on how you feel children learn and a little about your style of presenting information.
  • Try to avoid fumbling with papers. Work your way through the school day using the schedule you have written on the board as a reference. Be sure you have read the curriculum so you know about what each unit will entail.
  • Be sure to pause for questions and answers at several points in your presentation. Ask the parents if they feel clear about what you have said, before moving on to the next topic. Conclude your presentation with a final chance for parents to ask questions. Be patient, take a moment to think before you respond.
  • If you don't know the answer to a question, say "I don't know, but I will see what I can find out and get back to you." Write the question down that second so that they see that their concerns are important to you.
  • Go over the grading system used in the school for your grade level. Discuss the criteria for an "A" or an "S." Be sure you understand the school's grading policy, and how you are implementing it in the classroom. This is generally a very important topic to present clearly and correctly, and is one that will frequently result in questions.
  • Discuss supplies you want the children to have. Have extra copies of your supply list available. Be specific.
  • Let the parents know how to contact you, and what form your communication will take with them (e.g., weekly newsletter, monthly calendar, web site.) Share you email address, if that is an option.
  • Start on time. Finish on time. Some parents will linger afterwards - be as gracious as possible. Suggest you walk out together.

 

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