First Impressions

First impressions are everything. When it comes to our classrooms and families we want to give them our very best impression. What better time and way to do this than Meet the Teacher and Parent Night!

My kindergarten team got together and discussed what we wanted to gain from Parent Night and Meet the Teacher. By the end of the conversation we determined that we wanted to hold Parent Night the night before Meet the Teacher.

The entire purpose of each of the special events is for our parents and students to meet us. We want them to have the opportunity to discuss any questions they have or concerns. To make them feel welcomed. Parent night gives the majority of families to ask all their questions before Meet the Teacher; this way during Meet the Teacher we are more focused on the child and not the parents. Even though we want out families approval we want to let the kids know that they matter and we are excited to have them join the classroom.

So here is how it went.

Night before: get all of it together... Paperwork, clean, make it look fantastic, don't sleep, too anxious

Parent Night: Parents walk in and take a seat at their child's table. They begin filling out paperwork and making small chat/ Begin presentation discussing all the information given in their folders and expectations for the year/ promote giving tree/ ask for helpers/ answer questions/ deep breathe... you are almost there

Meet the Teacher: Place preordered supplies at table/ Lay a snack bag with goodies on table with scavenger hunt and parent checklist/ Greet kiddos/ Answer Questions/ Take Pictures/ Read a story/ Take shoes off you made it!

It goes by so fast, and I am all out of sorts for those two days. 

Here are some pictures of what my Parent Night setup looked like.

My small group table is located directly to the right when you enter my room. I had the snack bags set out and ready. These were not given to the parents on Parent Night. This would be my kiddos gift the next day when they came to meet me.

Speaking of my kiddos' treat! I LOVE giving them a snack bag with their name on it. This is by far one of my favorite things to do for my sweeties. I purchase the little bags at the Dollar Tree and they come 3 per pack. There are two different sizes; I choose to go with the smaller size. I use Fabric Dimension paint and they always come out so cute. Inside, I place the Sweet Dreams book with the confetti for the night before school, their backpack tag {I make these}, a superhero pencil and notebook. Sweet. Simple. To the point. I like to make their gift purposeful and practical. I make a big deal about their snack bags to the parents on Parent Night. It cuts down on confusion between lunch and snack and it minimizes the fancy snack meals. I love it!

Next to the bags I have four pages taped down to my table with washi tape that ask for helpers. We like to get a list of lunch helpers, dismissal helpers, VIP for the first two weeks, and potential room moms. I really like this idea. This is especially helpful during lunch and dismissal... you know... with the whole herding cats and all. 

At the kids' tables, I have a two pocket folder that has each side labeled. One side has important information for kindergarten and from my administrators. The opposite side has papers that need to be filled out. Parents will come in and immediately begin filling out all of the paper work. It helps to cut down on the awkward silence. I have a space on my math wall where parents will sort the paperwork when completed for me. 

Oh! Almost forgot the best part! On top of the folder I have a special treat for my parents. I made these cute little labels and printed them on transparent sticker paper. I found the bags at Target but you can use any bag. Click here to get the document for free! Inside the bag I place an apple flavored cereal bar and and apple flavored lollipop.... is that what you would call that thing? Not sure. 

Here is the view from my door. The frames on the table have a checklist for parents. I printed out some reminders of things to complete before they leave that evening. 

The next morning came around and it was officially the first teacher workday for us. We came in and got down to business with a fantastic breakfast and some important info.

Once we got back into our rooms, I was busy setting everything up for my kiddos. I set out their scavenger hunts, parent checklist, name tags, snack bags {including goodies}, and supplies if they ordered it ahead of time.

If the parents were not able to show up on Parent Night, I left everything for them at the table. That way they had everything they needed. It gets a little crazy greeting everyone, and I am always afraid I am going to forget something or miss saying hello to someone.

I like position myself by the door during Meet the Teacher. I greet everyone as they come in and tell the kids that they have a special surprise from me at their tables. I go on about how there is a really big job they have to do. I ask them to complete the scavenger hunt and then meet me on the rug afterwards so that I can read them a very special story. They were all so stinking cute and I LOVED meeting every single bit of them.

Part of the scavenger hunt was for them to sort the school supplies {with the help of their parents of course}. I stopped at my local Publix and they were so sweet as to give me some bags to have out. I made these labels last year, reprinted them, cut them out, and then used a clothespin to attach them to the bag. Simple. I was a nervous wreck. There was so way I could wrap my brain around anything more than that.

I went ahead and left out the sign-up sheets, giving tree, and the paper stack s for parents to look at and place any paperwork that they didn't have time to finish from the night before.

At the very end of my scavenger hunt my new little Superheroes had to find me and take a picture in front of our backdrop. Can you believe that my sweet-and-talented room mom from last year made this! Love. Her. To. Pieces.

After all the supplies were put away, students got to tour the school, they had their picture taken, and gave me a hug, I sat them down on the rug and read them The Night Before Kindergarten.

So let me tell you, is it super crazy that I just about want to ball my eyes out every time I read the part about the parents crying? I get so choked up. That's the momma in me coming out.

Speaking of momma. Check out my two boys on their first day of school.

I still can't believe my oldest one is in third grade. I am so thrilled that he has my internship teacher as his teacher this year. She is phenomenal. Patient and kind and all around the most wonderful person you could ever meet.

My little guy has such a personality now. He is trying so hard to talk, and BOY does he get into EVERYTHING! My sweet guy has been sick all weekend. I truly hate it for him.

I hope y'all enjoyed the little preview of my Parent Night & Meet the Teacher! We are now onto the first full week of school, and with three days under our belt I just know they are going to rock it. 

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