With school kicking off, Back to School night is one of the most important nights of the year. You get to meet the teacher for the first time, see the classroom, and fuel your child’s enthusiasm for school?setting the tone for a positive year ahead!
Back to School night is QUICK, typically only 30-45 minutes, so use these tips to get the most out of this important (and fun) evening.
Back to School Night Tips
- Get a sitter. If your school doesn’t provide child care, arrange for a babysitter. Back to School Night is usually for parents, not kids.
- Arrive early to get a parking spot and make it to the room on time.
- Ask questions that are pertinent to the entire class such as homework expectations, parental support needed during the year, or questions related to upcoming class projects or units of study. Questions about your child’s circumstances or special needs should be addressed privately with the teacher.
- Think about what kind of volunteer job you would like to have this year. If you’re extra busy, opt to be a classroom reader or help with a weekend activity like the school garden or a fundraiser. Do you have a more flexible schedule? Consider a weekly volunteer spot helping with math stations or art projects. Those who like to plan parties and coordinate people will make a perfect Room Mom. Have a special skill to share like computers, music or science? Tell the teacher that you’re willing to pitch-in for an enriching year!
- Bring an open mind. The same qualities that make the teacher great with kids don’t necessarily make her great with adults. Your teacher may be nervous with an entire room full of parents. Be patient and understanding as she shares the year’s game plan.
- Find your child's desk and leave a note. Your child will squeal with delight when they find a friendly note from Mom or Dad the next morning. Think something simple like, “It was fun meeting your teacher. I know you’ll have a great year!”
- Exit swiftly. Tomorrow is a school day and as much as she loved meeting you, your child’s teacher would appreciate getting home and getting ready for the next day.
Back to School Night strategies for parents with multiple kids in the same school
- Divide and conquer. Split up the classroom visits.
- If an older sibling had the same teacher, consider visiting another time to check in.
- Watch the clock. Divide time evenly between classrooms.
- If you’re going to miss a teacher or can only visit briefly, send the teacher a quick email explaining why and ask for copies of handouts shared with parents.
Time-Saving Tip: Tell your teacher or room mom to skip the clipboards this year. VolunteerSpot’s free online signup sheets make it easy for parents to sign up to help (24/7, with a click from their smartphone or computer)–so more parents participate!
Your excitement about the school year will translate to your kids in more ways than you know. Make sure to share your Back to School Night experience with your kids when you get home, relaying fun details you liked about the classroom and the special qualities you saw in the teacher which you know will make for a great school year!