Please help new teacher with "welcome back" letter D:

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by JayNWon, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. JayNWon

    JayNWon Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2018

    Hi! This will be my first year teaching and I am hired as a 4th grade gifted classroom teacher.
    Writing a "beginning of the year letter" to parents when I was an intern wasn't too hard, because all I had to say was what university I was going to, and how I was going to be co-teaching with my mentor teacher.

    But now that this will be my first year being the "teacher" of a classroom, I am totally lost on what I should write on the letter that will be handed out on the open house day. Well, I'm lost because I have no experience in teaching other than the internship experience (and some volunteering experiences/ tutoring, but not in the county), and am not sure what I should include.
    On the bottom is what I have written so far. What are your thoughts about it? How does it sound? What should I add or what should I get rid of? Please help me :(
    Knowing that I could possibly have high demanding parents, I want to make sure this doesn't sound like I'm a newbie who doesn't know how to do anything (which's actually true, but I would at least like to let the parents know that I'll try my best).
    Oh before getting started, I have a question. Should the audience be the students? Or the parents?


    I’m Ms.__________!

    I can’t express how excited I am to be your teacher this year! I hope you had a great summer break. We will have such a great year together and I would like to start off by letting you know a little about me.


    I was born in ___(foreign country) , and I moved to ___(my state) when I was in 7th grade. I went to (Name of my University) to get both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, in Curriculum and Instructions for Elementary Education. I have completed student teaching in a fourth grade classroom, and have other experiences in working with fourth grade students as well. I am truly thrilled to work with fourth graders again this year! (* or is it better to say “I am so excited that I get to be a fourth grade teacher for my first year teaching!" ?)


    There is so much that I’m looking forward to this year!
    I look forward to working together to support achieve desired goals for each of you.

    Favorite Things:
    I will list some of my favorite things


    How does it sound? I'm so frustrated by this little thing. Am I just overthinking?

    Also, if there are anything I might need to prepare before the beginning of the school year, please do give me advices. Thank you!
     
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  3. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Aug 5, 2018

    I wouldn't mention that it's your first year teaching. There are some parents who might take that as an invitation to helicopter, or worse yet, as a sign you don't know what you're doing and want their kids moved to another class.
    Maybe if you know of some exciting specifics regarding things that will happen early on in the year...special days or projects or field trips or something to excite the kids.
     
  4. JayNWon

    JayNWon Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2018

    That sounds right! Thank you!
    Should I still mention that I've done my student teaching in fourth grade? Or should I not mention about teaching experience at all?
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 5, 2018

    Also, make sure there are no grammar or written mechanic mistakes. I know I make a ton on the boards, but your first letter to parents/students should be error free.

    You might want to mention some of the things you have planned for the year.
     
    JayNWon and futuremathsprof like this.
  6. flairpen

    flairpen Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2018

    I would aim my letter towards parents. Instead of writing that it is your first year teaching, you could mention that it is your first year teaching at that school. I would also mention my credentials and something about the school's philosophy that you are excited to implement into your teaching. I'd also list all of the ways that parents can contact you.
     
    JayNWon likes this.
  7. Aces

    Aces Habitué

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    Aug 5, 2018

    That's kind of a double edged sword, which could go either way. If you only mention a little bit of your experience, such as the student teaching, parents may then ask well where is the rest of it? On the other hand, if you don't mention it at all, it could leave parents questioning if you're qualified to teach or not. Of course with both of these, the opposite could be true as well, parents may not even notice or pay a second thought to it. So I personally find it hard to say definitively either way do this or don't. I would instead ask you what does your gut say?
     
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  8. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 5, 2018

    When I write a welcome letter to a new class, I write very little about myself. I concentrate on what will be happening in the class, curriculum, special activities, etc. I highlight my homework philosophy, classes the students will be taking, daily schedule and concrete things like that. In your case, it avoids the fact that you are a new teacher.
    You can google new school year welcome letter and get lots of examples.
    Good luck and have fun!
     
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  9. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Aug 5, 2018

    I tend to ease off on the personal flavor of the intro letter.
    You could say, Thus far, all of my teaching experiences are in the fourth grade. This year we plan to explore............learn..............master.......... We anticipate field trips . x y z.
    Focus on what you will be doing with the students and what they will be learning. Friendly, but not too personally detailed. Excited, but not multiple exclamation points.
     
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  10. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Aug 5, 2018

    Consider leaving out your autobiography; doubtful parents really care where you were born. What they care about is what you are going to do for their child. Briefly (really briefly!) highlight (bullet list?) what you will be doing in reading, math, social studies etc. - In reading we will be working on improving comprehension and fluency. Math will takes us through fractions with emphasis on real-world problem solving etc. Mention any field trips, special events. Add a blurb about homework. Again, don't beat it to death. Brevity is clarity. Somewhere in your letter add, Is there anything special you want me to know about your child?. Add some blank lines for responding. Having envelopes available for privacy will help.
     
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  11. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Aug 5, 2018

    I have just a couple sentences about me that include where I graduated from and how long I've been at the school. Most of my letter includes information about my grades (I weight them), our major units of study, supplies needed for class, general expectations, and information about the state test if applicable for that course.
    At the end, there's a place for parents to sign, leave their email, and tell me whatever they want to about their child. I've gotten some great information about my students by doing that.
     
  12. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Aug 5, 2018

    My welcome letter includes some information about the curriculum (three grade levels, so I make course outlines for all subjects....even though I teach elementary), schedule, info about field trips, contact info, policies, procedures, and behavior plan. I have the parents fill out a form, so I can help their child the best way possible (information beyond what is stated on the IEP).
     
    czacza likes this.
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 6, 2018

    Leave off the ‘Favorite Things’. This is not The Sound of Music. ;)
     
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  14. JayNWon

    JayNWon Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2018

    That’s true. :( I think I would go with mentioning student teaching.
     
  15. JayNWon

    JayNWon Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2018

    Thank you for your comment. I think I’ll wait until I get some detailed information from the team for what might happen throughout the year to write this.
     
  16. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Aug 8, 2018

    My beginning of the year letters say nothing about me. They go into what the kids will be doing as a beginning of the year class, what a nice year it is going to be, what to bring for snack, and where to find their kid at the end of the day, math, LA, and some specifics such as birthday celebrations. I find they don't care that much about the small facts about me, they want to know how I am caring for their kid and what the kid will be doing.
     

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