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Old 07-11-2008, 08:58 PM
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RugRats RugRats is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 155
The Wild Wild West
5th Grade Teacher
Meet The Teacher/Back To School Night Question...

What do you all do for your MTT or BTS night?
We have a Meet The Teacher Night the week before school starts. Our school no longer does Back To School Night.

Last year I felt as if I did not use the time wisely. This year I want to make it short, sweet, and effective.

Also, last year I had a ton of parents come in with their younger and older siblings. They seem to enjoy rifling through the class and leaving it a mess.

At previous schools I have "closed" down all my centers and only let the students Museum Walk the class. I didn't do it this past year because I was at a new school and wanted to scope out what other teachers did. No one closes down their centers, but it drives me CRAZY!!! How do you all feel about my Museum Walk? Think it would be okay for me to it at my new school even though no one else does????

HELP Please
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:15 PM
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MsX MsX is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 213
New Jersey
1st Grade Teacher
My school does something similar. We have back to school night the NIGHT before school starts (not a good idea in my opinion, but regardless...). I've had similar problems - the parents bring their kids and the kids get into things! I don't even have centers out - I've literally had kids go through bookshelves and take things out! They leave a mess and are distracting to both me and parents. It's always an awkward time too because I'm supposed to be explaining curriculum and classroom policies but I have to keep stopping to speak to children (though personally I think the parents should be watching their children in this scenario!!). This year a few teachers and I have suggested to our administration that back to school night be a "parents only" event and I'm hoping this is what happens!

I do think your museum walk is a good idea. I totally understand being aware of what other teachers do (i definitely did some things the way other teachers did when I came to my current school, but regretted it afterwards!). However, you need to do what works for YOU! I can't see why anyone would have a problem with a museum walk. If anyone said anything I would just say "oh I like to teach my students the proper procedures for centers during the first weeks of school." 'nuff said!
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:16 PM
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Proud2BATeacher Proud2BATeacher is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 4,887
Sp. Ed. Teacher
I cover my shelves with fabric.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:20 PM
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loves2teach loves2teach is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,311
5th Grade Teacher
We have back to school night a couple of nights before school opens, and we have open house night about 2-4 weeks after school opens.

I have the same issues w/ younger siblings tearing up the room. I also have parents who try to corner me and tell me about their child for 3 hours. We only have a 45 minute time period, so this year I am going to talk for about 5-10 (mostly going over the basics, and answer questions).

I have been at my school 3 years now, and will have several siblings next year- so hopefully it will not be "that" bad. I also call and talk to parents a day or two before & that helps to answer some of their questions before that night.
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:00 PM
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Calalilys Calalilys is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 481
5th Grade Teacher
My neighboring teacher had the same problem with kids rifling through her things at our Academic Night a few years ago. She wanted so badly to say something, but was worried about offending the student/parents. I just don't understand why parents don't stop their child when they're doing this. The same thing always happens at parent/teacher conferences because parents let the little ones roam around the room while they "attempt" to listen to their child's presentation. Anyhow ... perhaps you could have a message posted on the board/overhead that asks families to find a seat and to begin filling out an information sheet? While they're doing this, you may want to set out some math manipulatives for younger siblings to play with or picture books for them to read or paper/crayons to draw.

For our Academic Night (basically Open House, but it happens before school starts) we do two sessions that are about 45 minutes each. I usually have a PowerPoint presentation ready to share with parents the most important information from my classroom, such as behavior management, homework, supply list, etc. In the past I have used my website as the main focus of the presentation because I wanted them to be able to see where different pieces of information were located for future reference. I figured that this would add to them actually using my site as a resource.
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:02 PM
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DaleJr88AmpFan DaleJr88AmpFan is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 566
5th Grade Educator
Our "night" is scheduled from 5:00 to 6:30pm. For the first hour, I stand by my door and pass out "paperwork" to all parents/students. (The paperwork includes update information from the office as well as an info sheet from me.) By not being in the room, parents/students barely wander around in there as the "focus" (me) is not in there. Then from 6-6:30, I hold a parent information meeting. Usually even the smallest of kids sit still while I flap my jaws. The first 20min or so I do the talking then open up to any questions. Typically, I am shooing everyone out the door right "on time". I boogey out of there right away also as I don't want to be caught by one of the lingerers that wants to discuss everything right down to their child's second hangnail.
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:01 AM
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katenar katenar is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 659
5th Grade Teacher
We have Back to School Night the second week of school. The parents ARE NOT allowed to bring the kids. We offer babysitting for a fee of $20 and $10 per extra child and they have to RSVP in advance. Also, if parents don't show up to the "Mandatory" Back to School Night they are charged $50.

Mind you I work at a private school.....my old school (a public one) I ran into all the same problems you are. But my last year there, we decided as a team (we had 5 fifth grades) that we would hold Back To School Night in the library and give our presentation in there. It was so great! Some parents wanted to come see where their child sat, etc and we had about 15 minutes BEFORE our presentation to do that. That way no one could corner us for the whole evening.
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:37 AM
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mrsleapfrog mrsleapfrog is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 112
3rd grade
We have Meet the Teacher night at our school as well. It usually consists of the parents coming in and dropping off their supplies, seeing where their child sat and filling out paperwork provided by the school that I already had sitting out on each students desk.

I have the same problem too with parents who want to corner me and ask me a million questions while I am missing time with the other parents. I dont do a presentation because I include in the packet all of my classroom information. The problem I have is that parents dont want to take the time to read it, they want to talk to me. It is a come and go so I dont think having a set time for a presentation would be a good idea.
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:46 AM
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little317 little317 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,290
Kindergarten Teacher
Our Meet the Teacher is awful. They plan it during the day 1:00- 2:30 and have all grade levels going at the same time. So parents are coming and going as many parents have kids in different grade levels. I try as much as I can to gather a few parents at a time and go over the class handbook. Most parents are willing to listen, yet others have actually told me to my face "we don't have time to listen to all this." Needless to say these parents were constantly not following the class procedures.

I let the kids explore the stations, but after they use them, I remind them that they have to clean up....some do and some don't.

I have a sign in sheet for the kids...my first name writing assessment. Then I ask them to draw me a picture to have up on the first day.

I really wish it was at night, but we have so many teachers that complain that anything at night is not in the contract. We also have poor attendance because it is during the day.
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