This article, entitled "Planning for Meet Your Teacher Night," comes from Erin Ferris.
My sister teaches second grade. Last week she and I spent an evening talking about some of the more challenging aspects of her job, one of which happens to be Meet the Teacher/Back to School Night. When I asked her to elaborate, she explained that confusion about the purpose of those few short but valuable hours often makes the evening a difficult one for her.
I requested tips to make MTT/BTS Night more advantageous for students, teachers, and parents, which my sister happily provided. As I noted her suggestions, I realized that other parents might also appreciate the wealth of information she had offer. So without further adieu, I share with you a few (of her) thoughts on making the most of your child’s elementary MTT/BTS Night.
- Remember that MTT/BTS Night is about helping your child become acclimated to their classroom and school building. If you need to speak with your child’s teacher about physical limitations, medical conditions, custody issues, or other concerns, set up a meeting to do so. These private issues, while extremely important, shouldn’t be discussed in a bustling classroom in front of other parents, your child’s classmates, and siblings.
- Along those same lines, save your curriculum questions for Orientation/Curriculum Night. On MTT/BTS Night, teachers need to be able to float around the classroom and speak with all of their students and students’ parents, which means they won’t necessarily have time to fully answer your important academic questions. (And they WANT to fully answer your academic questions – I promise!)
- Do ask questions about the first day of school – hot and cold lunches, the teacher’s policy on water bottles in the classroom, transportation home from school – if you haven’t already received that information.
- If your child is new to the building, make sure to pop into PE, music, art, computers, and the cafeteria before or after visiting your child’s classroom.
- If your child will regularly spend time with speech or occupational therapists, subject specialists, or ESL teachers, visit their classrooms as well.
- If your child will take regular or as needed medications during the school day, visit the nurse’s office to introduce your child to the nurse, familiarize your child with the office location, and drop off medications and any necessary paperwork. Asking children to handle medicine and paperwork on the first day of school adds unnecessary stress to both their day and their teacher’s day.
- And last but not least, bring your camera and capture a photo of your child with their teacher to mark the beginning of the new school year!
Happy Back to School season!