Create an “All about me poster” to introduce yourself to new students.
I will never forget meeting my daughter’s first-grade teacher. My daughter and I were a bundle of nerves, but right outside the classroom door we were greeted by a small “All about me poster" the teacher had created.
The poster was simple, but it made a lasting impression on both of us. The teacher shared why she’d become a teacher, which gave me goosebumps and put my mind at ease. She also expressed how excited she was to begin the new year with her new group of learners — and that made my daughter smile and relax her shoulders. With that poster, the teacher set the stage for the year and began to build relationships with her students and their families.
As teachers, we all have opportunities — planned or otherwise — to make an impression on our students and families. Whether you are hosting an event, sending out an introductory email, or just expecting some new-parent drop-ins, here are five tips to make the most of these opportunities to welcome your parents, guardians, and students:
1. How to make an all about me poster -Creating a fun and informative graphic to help families get to know you.
Parents and guardians want to know that you care about their children and that they can trust your judgment. So be sure to create an meet the teacher graphic that makes a great first impression. Include your “Big why” — the reason you chose to become an educator. Also, provide some details about your teaching experience, and let parents know that you are excited to teach their students.
Your poster idea for schools will help you establish yourself as a caring education expert before families even walk in the classroom door. I created a digital version that I would email out to parents who could not attend my meet-the-teacher or back-to-school night events, and I added it to my school website as well.
The free all about me poster ideas and free templates below are a great place to start.
2. Go digital and physical with your resources.
Some parents and guardians will accidentally misplace all the printed information you carefully prepare for them! By sending an email with digital copies of your schedules, syllabi, snack procedures, and everything else, you’ll help them stay on track. As a parent, I always appreciate it when I can find classroom documents on a website or in an email.
3. Have something handy for students to do when they walk in.
Answering parents’ and guardians’ questions can be challenging when they have a wiggling child or bored teenager in tow. Prep for this by creating a classroom scavenger hunt, or by having kids fill out an about me poster graphic organizer. This will allow you to connect with parents while gaining some insights into their students.
When I taught high school, I would have my students answer a few fun questions on the backs of their name cards. That gave me some great conversation starters as we got to know each other
4. Give your parents something to do.
You might be busy with other families, so have something to keep parents and guardians busy while they wait. They can get supply lists or drop off materials, but don’t forget to use this as an opportunity to build a deeper home-school bond.
When I taught fourth grade, I had each parent write a quick note about what they hoped for their student for that year. It helped me get to know the parents and their goals, and then I shared that information with the students later that week.
5. Be ready with a positive follow-up.
Print off a few customized thank-you notes and a batch of “Sorry we missed you” notes. That way, you can write a few positive remarks to parents and guardians about their students at the end of your event when everything is fresh in your mind. As a parent, receiving these types of notes from my kids' teachers truly made my day.
Meet-the-teacher events can be nerve-wracking for both parents and teachers. Be sure to stay hydrated, wear comfortable shoes, and know that by the end of the year, you will have made a positive and lasting impact on your students and their families.
Want to learn more about what I am up to? Follow me on Twitter @rebeccalouhare and take my self-paced Lightning Learning course about digital portfolios!
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Adobe Education Community Program Manager. After a decade in Italy as a design consultant and creative director, Rebecca Louise Hare returned to the U.S. to study education and built on her BFA in Industrial Design from The European Design Institute in Milan, Italy with a M.A.T. in Art from Fontbonne University, St. Louis. Rebecca is an art, design and engineering teacher and co-author of the books: The Space: A Guide for Educators, and The Space: A Guide for Leaders