These past few years of teaching have been pretty hectic and “meeting” your students probably looked a lot different. School’s about to be in session again, BUT with a tad bit more normalcy and I hope you’re as excited as I am! One thing has always been for sure- we have to plan for our future kiddos. And meeting YOU, the teacher, is going to be a highlight of this year!
Building connections, helping our families feel supported, creating an exciting learning environment for students, and making students feel safe are huge priorities as an educator. Meet the teacher night is crucial in upholding these principles with families. Let’s learn some fun tips and tricks to make that all happen!
Who doesn’t love getting mail- especially kids?! How special would your students feel getting a postcard from their brand new teacher whom they have yet to meet! They are a great way to help students feel welcome. They are easy to use and can be personalized for each student. As a subscriber, you can grab these super cute postcards for FREE! There’s also one included to invite your kiddos to meet the teacher night!
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This fun little editable invite can be shared digitally with families or printed and mailed to them! This fun virtual invitation can be found HERE! Creating a Google Form survey is a great idea if you’d like to keep a record of best times for families to meet. It’s as easy as a simple mass email containing the link! An alternative but similar idea is SignUp Genius. I used them all last year with student conferences and it was such a great and easy way to collect and store their data. Best of all, it’s FREE!
Socially Distanced Fun IN the Classroom
If you’re back to “normal”, giving each other some space is still a great idea when setting up this night to make everyone feel comfortable. I’m confident in the fact that you can still throw a super fun, socially distanced, meet the teacher shindig. Not only will you be promoting safety, but also you’ll provide families with a long deserved fun night out with their kids. In addition, they’ll leave feeling supported and confident in the fact you’ll be there caring for their child’s education throughout this school year. So let’s take part in this equation:
A lot of families + A little social distancing = A perfect night to remember!
After you have your classroom set up, and you have labeled ALL the things with student names, what’s next? You’re ready to meet your students of course!! I know they are SO ready to meet you! I don’t know how you feel, but this is one of the most stressful and exciting parts of the whole year. You get to meet a lot of your kiddos and usually their entire family! I hope that after reading this, you feel more prepared and excited about meeting all your sweet littles, while also keeping everyone safe!
This set-up is designed to deliver a fun and engaging evening for your families that they are sure to remember. I will help you have an organized and successful event that will help you to build connections with your families in an exciting way. These stations can easily be used in social distancing situations! A few years ago I asked myself how could I make this overwhelming time special while at the same time, take some of the pressure off? I came up with one word: STATIONS! Families had such a blast and it gave me so much more time to go around to meet everyone and talk to them while they all had activities to do! Parents were equipped with a checklist to make sure they made it to each of the fun stations! Here are some we set up.
The Photo Booth Station!
This station was a hit! They had such a blast with the back to school props and shared pictures that were hung around the room. This was such a fun way for families to have fun together and create some great memories in their new classroom. I LOVE using the props from Teach Create Motivate. Below you’ll see some examples of them. In order to ensure proper sanitation, I would recommend having families use their own device to snap the pictures and providing some sort of cleaner for them to be sprayed off after each use.
The QR Codes Station!
Another station parents adored was a station where they could grab a QR code that was a video of me reading The Night Before First Grade to my students. I told them to listen to it the night before school started. When parents dropped off their students the first day of school, I had SO many parents tell me how much they loved that I did that for their child. I also had so many students that ran up to me telling me how excited they were that they got to see me read to them! Grab yours free by subscribing!
The Ready Confetti Station!
My students loved this one so much. They got to take home a bag of confetti so that they were “ready” for school to start. This is such a fun FREEBIE from Miss Hellen’s Hippos that was pretty easy to assemble. I bought some confetti from Michaels and put it in a plastic bag. Then I just stapled the tag to the top and that was it! Super easy inexpensive gift that the kiddos absolutely loved! See them picture below.
The All About Me Bag Station!
The last station I want to tell you about is a great get to know you activity that makes things super personal. You get some paper bags and have students put 3 things in it that represent them. Then they bring it back to school when school starts and they can share their items with the class. It is such a fun way to get to know your kids and a great soft activity for the first week of school. I even did one too so my students could see my interests. If you subscribe, you’ll receive a cute directions tags to add to your bags for FREE!
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These are just some of the fun ideas you’ll find in my Meet the Teacher Bundle. Not only was this a fun and exciting experience for everyone, but it was a great way to start building connections right away and took some of the pressure off at back to school time! If you love the idea of stations, you’ll find my Editable Meet the Teacher Stations HERE.
These stations are a BLAST for families, and it’s also perfect for social distancing. These stations can be organized around the room to keep families at a distance. You can set limits of people at each station or even set the stations 6 feet apart.
If you want a way to share important information and let families get to know you better, you could create your own presentation to cover these items. You can even embed a link to video tour of your actual classroom for families to explore! They will have a blast and be able to get to know the room just a little bit better! But of course the thought of creating a whole presentation just adds on to the multitude of things to do right?? So, I’ve created a completely customizable presentation for you to edit to take off that stress if you so choose that can be customized in Powerpoint or Google Slides! If you’d like to access that, go ahead and click HERE!
This can be a fun take on an old school social Meet the Teacher/ Meet the Student! Another great and easy way to connect with families is by sharing a digital meet the teacher newsletter for families to get to know you. What’s even more fun is sharing a template for a “Meet the Student” form for students to complete and share! These forms contain slides for students to fill out where they can put a picture, facts about themselves, and so much more. You could also have students comment on each other’s post about one thing they have in common or what they would like to learn more about. Both of these activities are available HERE! The meet the student forms can easily be shared on Seesaw or Google Classroom depending on what platform you use. After they are turned in, students can scroll through their ‘feed’ to meet all their new classmates virtually before school even begins!
Another Positive Note!
Let’s face it, storing things digitally is much more convenient and less wasteful than paper. To help you organize student information, I’ve created some digital forms for families that can be shared in person or virtually. These forms can help you easily gather student/family information and student interests. You can grab these forms HERE! Another great way to provide information to families easily is with an interactive flipbook. These Back to School flipbooks, paper and digital versions, are completely customizable to meet your needs. These interactive documents can help families understand the important parts of your classroom. From expectations to your daily schedule, these editable flip books provide space for it all and are available HERE! Still love collecting and storing actual papers?! I TOTALLY get it! That’s why I’ve also created these HERE!
Below you’ll see the jam packed bundle that includes ALL these engaging activities… with a FREEBIE of course! This bundle will help you have an engaging, fun, and memorable back to school night that your families are sure to love and remember!
Meet the Teacher is one of the best ways to kick off the year with families. I hope that this helped you feel a little less overwhelmed about the unknown and a little more excited about what’s to come. You are going to have a GREAT year with your families. These ideas can help you connect, have fun, and save you time! If you have any more wonderful ideas to share or are looking for something else to make life easier, please share in the comments below!
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