Three Tips To Make The Most Out Of Back To School Night For K-5 Students
Held just before the official first day of school, back to school night can set the tone for the rest of the year. On this night, you want your child to leave with excitement about their upcoming school year, reduce any anxiety about what the next ten months will bring, and be ready to work on the next day. You also want to start your relationship with your child’s new teacher off on the right foot. These three tips will help.
Don’t rush to be the first person in classroom
Back to school night is one of those times when you don’t want to join the crowd. You may be tempted to rush there because everyone is excited, and maybe a little bit nervous, about what’s in store. This strategy is worth reconsidering, however. If there’s a classroom or whole-school orientation talk, you probably want to be early for that so that you can get a good seat. Otherwise, there’s no reason to rush ahead.
Coming later has some benefits. Arriving after the main rush of the crowds can be less stressful than fighting for elbow room as your student is looking around the classroom. It can also allow you the time to talk to the teacher when you’re not competing with as many parents for your teacher’s attention.
Understand how your teacher manages communications and workflow
One of the first steps you can take to starting your parent/teacher relationship off on the right foot is to understand how they manage workflow and discipline in their classroom. What should you listen for? Here’s a quick list:
- Information about the best way to contact your teacher: Understand if your teacher prefers email, phone, or a school specific communication or email
- Information on classroom work management: Be alert for information on how they let students know about assignment content, due dates, and when work is late. Also try to understand any structure for late or missing assignments, ways to make up for assignment penalties, or ways to get extra credit for assignments.
- What to expect from classroom discipline: Every teacher has their own way to ensure that the classroom environment is orderly and productive place where all students can learn. Be alert for what your teacher’s method is so that you can understand what is happening and talk to your child about it if it affects them.
Consider how you are going to tell your teacher about your child
There’s a lot of things that your teacher needs to learn about your student—and all of the other students–in their class. Consider how you’re going to do this so that they can get the best possible information about how your child work well in a classroom. Keep in mind, unless you’re new to the school or your student is in preschool or kindergarten, your teacher has probably already learned something about your student from the teacher that they had last year. In addition to that, your teacher may have a sheet available to you on back to school night where you can tell them about your child in writing. This is a great tool and if you see such a form, don’t hesitate to use it.