Meeting the parents and students during back-to-school nights can be a nerve-wracking experience for even veteran teachers. However, with a few creative twists, the evening can be an enjoyable one for all. The following are some ideas to engage your participants and begin the year on a positive note.
- A Letter to Yourself
When I was in college, we were instructed to write a letter to ourselves at freshman orientation. Four years later, we received our letters to open on graduation day. The same could be done with your students. Set up a station in your classroom where your students write a letter to themselves. On the last day of school, you can share the letters, so they can see how much they have grown during the year.
- Scavenger Hunt or Bingo Card
This is a fun interactive that a colleague used to emphasize important items she wanted to make sure the parents and students understood. The participants might have to find class policies, the location of the pencil sharpener or assignment bin, and the class schedule. You could even have a small reward for those who successfully complete the task.
- A Photo Booth
This is a great way to create a memorable moment for families. Find silly hats and costumes at the local dollar store and then set up a fun corner to snap a selfie or a family photo. You might also have a small chalkboard available, so the students can write their names, ages, and other fun facts for their pictures.
Regardless of what you decide to do, nothing is better than a friendly smile and a warm greeting. Sometimes the smallest of gestures are the most impactful.
Heidi Speece is an ELA teacher at Virtual Virginia and an eMediaVA Ambassador.