- Why TCI?
- Social Studies
- Training & Support
The weather is changing from summer to fall and that means students are heading back to school. As adults and children excitedly shop for their back-to-school supplies, you are readying yourself for back-to-school night and the year ahead. It’s the night you get to introduce yourself, share your teaching philosophy, and get a better understanding of how to plan your school days.
1. Scavenger hunt
Both adults and children work together to find all of the clues scattered across the school grounds or throughout the virtual classroom. Set up small rewards for each discovery and celebrate as every group finds their way to the end. You could include information about school supplies, dress code, and more in each clue.
2. Learning booths
This is a great way for staff and caregivers to mingle while learning more about what the school is offering this year. Every school activity will set up its own booth to provide information about its involvement at the school like a volunteer booth, extracurriculars booth, and a teacher’s booth. Virtually, staff can set up breakout rooms on Zoom for caregivers to join at specified times.
3. Sharing baskets
Add baskets for students to drop off their extra school supplies to share with the entire class. This takes some of the pressure off of you to buy a lot of your own classroom items and gives caregivers an idea of what you’ll need for the school year.
4. Conduct a short mock virtual lesson
If your classes are virtual this year, caregivers will be interested in how to help their students set up for the school day. Make up a short, funny lesson as an example where you guide students and caregivers through each feature of the teaching platform you’ll likely use.
5. Let students pick their seats
Provide a neat way for children to get comfortable in their new classroom by picking a desk. Once they’ve done so, give them a chance to share some information about themselves. This could be by giving them a chance to draw a picture of themselves with their name underneath and sliding it into a clear plastic sheet cover taped to the desk.
6. Or pick student’s desks for them
Guide the students through the room as they try to find their assigned desks. Indicate their desk with fun cutouts, yummy goodie bags or even colorful balloons with their names on them.
7. Have parents write encouraging words
Either privately or on a large sheet of paper, have every adult write a small note to their student to encourage them through the school year. Even elementary school students can get overwhelmed with new lessons — these could help boost them up.
8. Teacher wishlist
Caregivers are always looking for ways to help their children and their teachers. Give them a chance to give back by adding what you’ll need throughout the year in a fun and creative way — maybe written on fun shapes taped to your whiteboard.
9. Create a “Get to Know Me” page
This could be a one-pager you create so adults and students can get to know you more personally. Include a little bit about your background, your favorite things and what your teaching philosophy is. If you’re tech-savvy maybe make it digital to save on paper!
10. Offer a virtual discussion board
Hosting an online back-to-school night could get chaotic without a streamlined communication board. Caregivers are sure to have lots of questions at the end of the night so offer a Google Doc or a discussion board where you can answer them directly.
11. Communication preferences
Depending on how each adult prefers to be contacted, invite them to opt-in on a platform like Remind for easy communication about big events or upcoming assignments. This can give adults one place to find all of the information they need to help their children stay caught up — not off guard.
12. Enjoy the night!
This night is a chance for you to introduce yourself and give caregivers the chance to get to know you. Don’t forget to make the night enjoyable for everyone who participated to kick off the year in a fun way.
Pick up a few ideas or think of some of your own to make the night engaging for everyone.
Don’t forget to have fun, show your personality and make connections.