Meet the Teacher Tips & Ideas

Does your school host a Meet the Teacher event? I know this looks different in different places. We usually report back to school three days before the first day of school. The Meet the Teacher event is always on that third day, so it's important that I get in my room and have a plan so that I'm ready to meet my new students and their families at the end of the week.

This event is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression and meet your students (and their families). My hope is that the following tips will make this less overwhelming for you. I hope you find them useful! 

Tip 1: Don't Stress
Honestly, this event is intended to give you the opportunity to meet your students and vice versa. Don't overthink it.

Tip 2: Tidy Up
Your classroom does not need to be completely set up at this time. Get the furniture in place, organize whatever you can, and make sure things look clean. This not only creates a less hectic physical environment, but it gives a good impression, a first impression. The families will see your room and make judgements about it before they even speak to you. You want to present a cozy and inviting space, not a crazy, messy one.

Tip 3: Create some ambience
Two things you will always see/smell in my classroom are calming music playing in the background (You Tube has tons of options) and the smell of peppermint oil diffusing in the air. I don't reserve these strictly for day to day classroom use, I start using them at the Meet and Greet. People always comment on the nice smell and while they might not comment on the music, I know it helps set a relaxing tone for the day.

Tip 4: Greet Everyone
It's a good idea to greet each family that enters your room and an even better idea to engage in conversation with them. This is just good manners and obviously sets a good impression. Sometimes more than one family walks through the door at a time, or you might be in conversation with a family as a new one enters the room. Acknowledging them with a smile and a small wave before you can speak with them is a great way to let them know they aren't being ignored.

Tip 5: Protect Your Stuff
When families come to meet you, there are often times younger siblings in attendance. In my experience, these littles are often allowed to just roam the room. So, it might be a good idea to put away any items you don't want little hands getting into. Or, I've even seen some teachers set up a designated kid area with things like toys and coloring pages. 

Tip 6: Be Prepared to Collect Supplies
There are always a few kiddos who bring their supplies to the Meet the Teacher event. I personally love this because when I have to go through all of it on day one, it's overwhelming. Some schools even encourage families to bring supplies to this event. Either way, be sure to have a space set aside for this. You might even consider having labeled buckets where students can drop supplies. There is no right/wrong way to collect supplies because how those supplies are used varies from classroom to classroom, just be sure you're prepared to collect them.

Tip 7: Set Out a Meet the Teacher Letter & Forms
First, make sure you have your desks set up. If they're all shoved in a corner, that is not very inviting. 

Then, place important items on your students' desks. I set out a few forms for parents to fill out. This allows me to get some insider information from the parents' perspective before the first day of school.

I always share a Meet the Teacher Letter with my students and their families at this time. It's a quick snapshot that allows them to get to know some personal information about me. This is important. I am a person, and sometimes, people need to be reminded that teachers are people too. Psst: I left out my contact info and personal bio in this sample, just trying to keep some things a bit private over here on the Internet. Hehe.

Depending upon how this event works at your school, you might want to share a Meet the Teacher slideshow with your families, or project it on your whiteboard and let it loop through for parents to look at as they check out your room. I usually do a combo Meet the Teacher slideshow/BTS presentation with important school info because that's how my school has us do things. 

Bonus tip: I share a stand alone Meet the Teacher slideshow with my students on the first day and also print a Meet the Teacher book which I add to my classroom library. The kids love reading the book. On repeat.

Tip 8: Leave a Small Gift for Students
This is not necessary. It is something I like to do, and I keep it very simple. Along with the letter and forms noted above, I place a small gift of one or two glow stick bracelets on the desk. It's just a small something to let the kids know I'm excited they're a part of my class. You can read more about this idea by clicking HERE.

Tip 9: Share Your Wishlist 
Please only do this if it is appropriate for your school population. At my previous school, it was common for teachers to set up a small space to display a list of items they were in need of. I don't do this at my current school, but if it is something you know your population would be receptive to, go for it! My favorite way to display this was on the whiteboard. I used our die cut machine to cut out a tree trunk/branches and some apples. I wrote what I needed on the apples and attached them to the tree trunk. Parents took an apple if they wanted to purchase that item for our classroom.

I sure hope a few of these tips were helpful today. Got a few tips of your own? Leave them in the comments below!


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