Scared and a nervous wreck!!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by mrs.teach, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. mrs.teach

    mrs.teach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007

    hi y'all!! i'm new to this discussion forum....

    The school's are opening pretty soon and we have an parent -teacher meet greet before it does. I am a first year teacher and i am very nervous about meeting the parents. do you have any ideas on what i should be saying and what i should NOT say? :help:

    what things should i give out?

    i probably will have soo many other questions for y'all so get ready!!! lol:lol:
     
  2.  
  3. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,483
    Likes Received:
    96

    Jul 27, 2007

    What is the meeting about? Without know it's hard to offer advice, but I'd say take a pad of paper and a pen with you. Write down everything the parent says verbatim clarifying every few minutes. They can't claim later that you weren't listening to their concerns. It will also help you stay on track and organize your thoughts. And it's documentation.
     
  4. mrs.teach

    mrs.teach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007

    the meeting is sort of like open house you can say. the parents and students will be there. i know i'll find somethings about the students from the parents....but it's the first time we'll actually meet. how do i make a good first impression?
     
  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,935
    Likes Received:
    679

    Jul 27, 2007

    Just be yourself, smile, great each child warmly. Have some puzzles or games like checkers out for the kids (what grade?). I teach in private, too, and the kids love seeing their friends and what their new classroom looks like. The parents aren't there to interrogate or judge the teachers. You could put out any questionnaires or welcome letters or school handbooks if you have those.
     
  6. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    12

    Jul 27, 2007

    When I worked in Texas, we had to give a mini presentation for groups of parents. During the presentation, we were to outline our plans for the year and to field questions. We could hand out a syllabus at the time and a supply list. That's it...then the next group came in. Each was about 20 minutes and we had to do three groups.
    HERE's THE PLAN:
    Students should be seated with parents to listen. This is your classroom. Don't let those future students wander around. They need to know that in your class, they sit. IT IS A PARENT_TEACHER MEET remember. Ok...
    Use power point for the explanation of your curriculum. Takes the stress off you and have your handouts ready to pass out after the power point. They'll be busy reading and won't think to ask too many questions because they will be so impressed with how together you are!! Ta Da!!
    That's what we were required to do and it works!! Never give parents more info than they need....we don't open cans of worms!!

    If you are allowed to ask parents for classroom items, consider putting together a Giving Tree made out of brown paper and apple sticky notes. Encourage parents to take a sticky note and return the item to class with their child during the first week of school.

    I found some cute apple sticky notes at the Dollar Store and will cut out a trunk and branches for my tree. I put my tree up by the door above the sign in sheet. Parents love it. I got the idea from someone here last year!! They are under no obligation. If the item doesn't come in a week or so, replace the apple with a new one. This way the tree is up all year for when parents stop by.
     
  7. mrs.teach

    mrs.teach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007

    thanks for the advice!!!! :) i really hope i dont have to give a presentation....do ya'll think they'll ask me about my way of disciplining?
     
  8. mhcooley

    mhcooley Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007

    Hello and congrats on your job. I remember my first back to school night I was so nervous I almost fainted during my presentation. I was blacking out while parents were asking me questions. It was horrible. I really didn't have a clue, but since you are seeking advice I am sure you will do great during yours.

    Here are some suggestions for your back to school night. This is what we are covering at ours. You can pick and choose what is right for your class.
    *curriculum, textbooks
    *grading policy
    *discipline plan
    *promotion requirements
    *dress code
    *test paper folder (when should parents expect to get it)
    *school hours
    *any supplies that you are asking
    *attendance policy
    *homework policy
    *any special policies for your school: concession, spirit day shirts, ect.
    *any forms that need to be signed
    *any websites for your school or that would be important for parents to know
    *verify transportation (who rides bus, parent pick ups, walkers)
    *your conference times (how can parents get in touch with you)
    This is the time to inform the parents on what you want them to do for you. I know it is scary at first but it is so worth having the parents know what your expectations are.

    I hope you can take something from this and use it. Good luck. Our back to school night is August 7.
     
  9. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,483
    Likes Received:
    96

    Jul 27, 2007

    On our Back-To-School night (sounds like what you described) the parents come in with the kids, introduce themselves and the children, pick up books to cover at home, maybe drop off supplies. If a parent has a particular concern they may mention it to me (Johnny's low reading skills or Suzy having asthma). I'll jot a note to myself at most. Most of the time they don't stay too long and are very pleasent. Just remember to smile, introduce yourself to them before they come to you, wander around a lot, and just be friendly in general.
     
  10. mrs.teach

    mrs.teach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007

    those are some great ideas to choose from mhcooley.....some of the things on there i didnt think to even ask!!....thanks soo much! :)
     
  11. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,483
    Likes Received:
    96

    Jul 27, 2007

    You might want to have a welcome letter on each desk with a basic outline of what you hope to cover, when and how parents can get ahold of you, your expectations and how this year will be different from the previous (5th vs. 4th) so the parents will have an idea of what to expect, how mcuh homework they can expect to see coming home, etc. WE are required to put out packets of information (provided by the office) on things like dress code, grade scale, etc.
     
  12. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    12

    Jul 27, 2007

    Ask your principal what she/he expects. Ours was very clear cut.
     
  13. mrs.teach

    mrs.teach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007


    this is one thing that i should pay particular attention to....i have heard of some stories where teachers got into trouble for forgetting what their child was allergic to....
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 27, 2007

    I had to give a presentation and my first time I felt like a wreck. I just made an outline of things I wanted to go over with my parents and gave parents a copy with notes and information on it. I used this as I went through my presentation and parents could use the paper to take notes. You could also put this on a transparency. This took about 15 minutes. Short and sweet. Then I asked if there were any qustions, answered the questions, and then had parents go to a table to fill in some information about their kiddos. It turned out to be no big deal. I also had the kids sit in their seats while parents were in the back. This gave the kids a chance to get used to sitting in the class.
     
  15. 1st-yr-teacher

    1st-yr-teacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007

    i also have a sign in sheet that has a place for the parents to put their name, child's name, phone number to reach them, how their child will go home the first day and first week, how their child will go home the rest of the year(if the child goes home by bus then I also ask for the bus number) that way I can have the important stuff already put out. Also, I leave the form out for the next day if the parents did not come the night before.

    Our open house is the night before the first day of school.
     
  16. mrs.teach

    mrs.teach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007


    good one!!:thanks:
     
  17. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    12

    Jul 27, 2007

    You can't just go on a verbal from a parent. If there is a health condition, it should be noted in their health folder which, if your school uses one, you should have access to before meeting the students. Also, there should be a mention of it on their file or cummulative card.

    A verbal from a parent should be noted down and then double checked against records. It it's not in the record, contact who ever takes care of getting the proper documentation added to a child's record. In my school it would be the nurse. In some schools, it may be the counselor. They know the legal paper work that nedds to be filled out by doctors and returned to the school.
     
  18. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,483
    Likes Received:
    96

    Jul 27, 2007

    That's what I thought. My school always sends out health notices to teachers as soon as all school paperwork is sent received in the office. Still, it's good for the parents to let you know early on.
     
  19. collteach

    collteach Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007

    At our school, the "meet the teachers" time is very short. Basically, it gives parents and students a chance to say "hello!", check out the classroom, and ask some very general questions. Last year, most of my questions were about supplies. Basically the parents and students were coming in and out of the room during an hour long time frame. The principal sent home a very detailed letter explaining to parents that the teachers would not have time for lengthy discussions, but that we would be happy to set up conferences once the school year got under way. I had a few parents that I had to "escape" from in order to speak to other parents that had joined us in the room, but other than that, most were really great. I was nervous because it was my first year at that school. I did have the biggest turn-out of parents in the 4th grade, and I am sure that is why. They all wanted to check out the new kid on the block :)

    We have a formal "Back to School" night later in September. That is the night when we present information about the curriculum, our procedures/policies, etc. Of course, I will send information relating to all of that stuff home during the first week, but the open house gives parents the opportunity to ask questions about all of those things.

    I would find out which type of format your "meet and greet" will have. I would hate for you to prepare things like crazy only to find out that it is a really informal time to introduce yourself to the kids and parents one-on-one. Of course, the parents would appreciate any information you pass along...but you don't want to be overly stressed and overwhelmed that day. I would definitely find out from your principal and colleagues what this event looks like at your school.
     
  20. StickyNotes

    StickyNotes Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007

    Something I like to have out for the parents are the state standards for their child's grade level in kid-friendly/parent-friendly wording. That way they can tell what their student is going to be learning that year. And they can take it home to work on things with their students with (ha! Or I can only hope). I found mine on a website with a google search
     
  21. Daisyd

    Daisyd Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007

    I think I saw a similar questions on a different posting if you want to check...

    Check with your principal, but I always do a "Scavenger Hunt" for the kids to help them get acquainted with the room. Find your cubby, the bathroom, rules list, etc.
     
  22. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    12

    Jul 27, 2007

    I can's!

    I can read with expression.

    I can write a paragraph with a main idea and supporting details.
    ETC.....

    Good idea to hand those out at the beginning. We use them when we conference with students and also at Report-Card Pick-Up!
    Parents are always amazed at how much their own children can do and understand! It's a powerful tool.
     
  23. mrs.teach

    mrs.teach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007


    that's informative!!:)
     
  24. mrs.teach

    mrs.teach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007

    great idea!!!:up:
     
  25. mrs.teach

    mrs.teach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007


    kinda afraid of that....:eek:
     
  26. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Messages:
    2,699
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007

    Last year we had a Meet the Teacher Night and an Open House. For MTTN, I had some papers laid out for the parents to take, including my business card. The parents signed up for how their child will be getting home, as well as making a graph. Then the kids did a classroom scavenger hunt. That was fun and enlightening for some of the students! Hah. I'm so glad that we had that, as I had two students who ran into the reading tent... I'm glad they got that overwith then and not on the first day of school, ha. Anyway, the scavenger hunt gave them something to do, get familiar with the classroom, and I could talk to parents and kids individually. We won't be having this this year due to construction. Bummer. :(
     
  27. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 27, 2007

    I would assume that since it's a meet and greet session, you won't have to do a presentation. We did this one year, the Thursday before school started, and parents/children just came to find the classroom, say hi, and leave. It was very informal. The following Thursday is when we had our Academic Night (re: Open House) and had to give our formal presentations.

    Anyhow, I would advise, if possible, not telling parents this is your first year of teaching. From what I've heard from other teachers, during their first year there were parents who were out to question everything they did in the classroom and just made their life a complete nightmare because they felt as though the teacher didn't know what she was doing. I know that this happened two first year teachers last year.
     
  28. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    6,181
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jul 28, 2007

    I VERY much agree. This isn't my first year teaching and I still feel uncomfortable telling parents how long I've taught. I keep it a secret unless they ask. Now, I'm moving to a new grade so I'm basically a new teacher. SOB. :unsure:
     
  29. mrs.teach

    mrs.teach Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 28, 2007


    It does make sense though....that and looking nervous might give me away....:blush:
     
  30. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    481
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 28, 2007

    Regardless if you're a new teacher or not, this night is always nervewracking because you want to make a good first impression with parents and students.
     
  31. collteach

    collteach Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 28, 2007

    I have always just said that I am new to the school, and that I have taught 4th grade, as well as 7th grade. I didn't let any of the parents or students know that I was a first year teacher (I taught 7th grade at that time). When I switched school systems and grade levels, I just told the parents I was new to the school, but had teaching experience from XX County and also in PA (where I did my field experience and student teaching). I know that my principal got a lot of calls about me when the parents received the student placement letters this past year. The parents were anxious to know about the "new" teacher, but thankfully, my principal praised me and all of my wonderful experience. That made things so much smoother!
     
  32. collteach

    collteach Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 28, 2007

    Oh, I am always sweating bullets when I have to meet the parents/students for the first time. Honestly, anytime I have a large gathering of parents I am nervous. I had a poetry reading this spring, and about 12 parents attended. I hated having to do a little introduction for them. I DEFINITELY feel more comfortable speaking to kids!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Eric Matyas,
  2. RainStorm,
  3. MrsC
Total: 609 (members: 4, guests: 584, robots: 21)
test