Back-to-school night is not fun. There is just too much information to cover in 30 minutes. I am expected to explain the grade level, what material will be covering, and how the homework works. Typically, there is a PowerPoint presentation that teachers run through. And that doesn’t even cover little kids playing in the corner of the room.
So, this year I flipped my back-to-school night. I recorded a video beforehand, and send a flyer home asking parents to watch it before back-to-school night. I took the material from a 30 minute presentation and crammed it into a five minute video. The great part about a video is that you can speak as fast as you want because people can rewind you. To my amazement, every parent actually watch the video before we met together. I embedded video on my classroom website mrselak.com, along with the following:
Please watch this video prior to our Back to School Night meeting on September 12 at 7:15 pm.
Here is the presentation I showed in my classroom during our 30 minutes together. I used it mostly for talking points.
I loved having this time to talk with parents for so many reasons. I felt like I was able to actually talk with them, as opposed to talk at them. They had time for them to ask questions, so they felt valued. I was able talk about general educational stuff that I felt was important, like reading with your child and reading in front of your child. I had time to explain my behavior management, Class Dojo, and how they can stay connected with my class via Remind 101. It was a good use of our time, and parents actually enjoyed Back to School Night.