Is a parent letter sent home expected for first day?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TexanTeach, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. TexanTeach

    TexanTeach Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2015

    Hey everyone,
    This will be my first year starting the year off with my own classroom. I taught specials for several years, and then a year of resource before taking over a self-contained special education classroom mid way through last year. I sent home a little letter to the parents introducing myself when I took over the class as a friendly hello and to let them know how to reach me.
    I will be having the same students in my class when the school year starts in a few weeks, so I'm not sure if there's a reason to send home any type of first day letter since the parents already know me. They are also familiar with the program since their children stay in the same class for about 5 years before moving up to the next class, so they already know that the class provides things like scissors, glue, etc. and what the general procedures are.

    I've never had my own classroom before this, so I was wondering is it sort of expected by parents to get some type of letter on the first day? I can't really think of anything that I need to inform them about, since they already know me and the class. (I will jot a note in each agenda welcoming them back, though :)) Is there anything I'm not thinking of?
    Thanks!!
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Aug 24, 2015

    I doubt there is any official rule across the board, but I've noticed parents tend to expect a letter the first day. In your case where they know you, a quick "Welcome back!" message and perhaps a brief summary of what you'll be working on should suffice.
     
  4. Ms_C

    Ms_C Comrade

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    Aug 24, 2015

    I agree with backroads. A simple welcome back along with current conference times should suffice. Are you changing any way the class runs from when you took over last year? If so I would add that as well.
     
  5. janis

    janis Companion

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    Aug 24, 2015

    Not expected, but it sure is classy. Not to mention sets the tone for great communication for the rest of the year.
    :cool:
     
  6. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I find that it helps put parents at ease to know somethings about you. I share a brief bit about my family. I also share my education history. I include a little of my goals and hopes for the kids.
     
  7. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Aug 25, 2015

    My plan is that any hand-outs that I need to give on the first day(s) will be geared towards my students - they can share that with parents.

    On back-to-school night, I will write up a letter about what parents should expect during that school year (curriculum units, info on homework, being absent, etc). I find that parents barely look at this letter and will just find the information when they actually need it. :)
     
  8. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Aug 25, 2015

    I know I sent a Welcome Back letter. I told about myself, put our schedule of specials, routines that would be going on, & how to reach me at school.
     
  9. TexanTeach

    TexanTeach Rookie

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    Aug 25, 2015

    Thanks for the responses everyone! I think I'll write a simple welcome back message and remind everyone how they can reach me. The times I'm available to schedule conferences is slightly different from last year, so I'll mention that as well.

    While I'm thinking of it, do you typically send home a class list of all the students names in the class (first and last)?

    Thanks :)
     
  10. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Aug 25, 2015

    I sent them home today (2nd day of school)

    I don't send home class list/roster until Valentine's Day (only 1st names), but that could just be the schools I worked in. I'm not sure what others do..?
     
  11. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Aug 25, 2015

    We have Back-to-School Night the 3rd week of school.

    During BTS Night, teachers review rules, procedures, expectations, etc. with parents.

    Since this event doesn't take place until the 3rd week of school, many teachers send home a (brief) letter on the first day. They are not, however, expected to do so! It's really about personal preference.
     
  12. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Aug 25, 2015

    I never sent a class list at beginning of year either. I did do a snacklist. Make sure you put what day specials are...I know my parents liked having that, so girls didn't wear dresses in PE days.
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Aug 26, 2015

    There is much truth to this! :haha: Though in my case I can't help but think it'd be nice to have the excuse of "it was in the letter". I've never had more than a reminding question, but that's how my mind works.
     
  14. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Aug 26, 2015

    It's nice, but it's not make-or-break. A letter home the first day can be pretty brief and general.

    What I usually want to know as a parent is the kind of person that will be teaching my child. If they've had you already they already know.
     

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