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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

4 easy steps to a simple student led back to school event

  Do you have a Back to School Night, Open House, or Meet the Teacher at your school? Do you dread when you have to put on these events? This is always my least favorite day of the year. I can talk in front of my students all day long, but make me talk in front of their parents and I freeze up. Then I worked at a school that had us do Student-Led Back to School Night, and it was the best Back to School Night I’d ever led! Today I am going to take you through the steps to have your students lead your next Back to School event. 

   The first thing that you need to do is set up stations for your students to lead their special guests through. I like doing stations because it allows the student to be self-directed. It also allows you as the teacher to have your students practice before the big event. You can have all the stations set up ahead of time and the students can practice in pairs taking each other through the stations. This way they know exactly what they need to do ahead of time. 

   Next, you need to create a powerpoint presentation with all your important information for the year. I like to have this running on the board in the background. The parents can watch it when they’re ready. They can also watch just the parts they are most interested in. By having it run in the background, this frees you up to be available to talk to parents as they need and answer all their classroom questions. One thing you need to be careful about is parents thinking this is a time for a conference. If they start to ask specific questions about their child and how they are doing, I immediately go to my calendar with them and set up a time for a conference. This way they don’t feel like you are brushing them off, but it also allows you to be available for the other parents and guardians. 

   The next thing that you need to do is have all your directions for your students set up. I like to have these ready for the students to practice ahead of time. This way they know exactly what they need to do when the big night arrives. The first thing that I use is a lotus diagram. This allows the students to know the flow that they need to take their special guest through. I also like to have a scavenger hunt for the students to complete with their special guests. This gives the parents and guardians a chance to see all the different areas of the classroom. Then the parents or guardians know what the students are talking about when they go home and tell them about different things in the classroom. The scavenger hunt is always one of the students’ favorite parts of the event. 

   Finally, you need to have all the forms ready for parents or guardians to fill out. I like to know as much about the students as possible so I always have several forms for the parents to fill out. The school usually has lots of forms for the parents to fill out as well. My school usually also wants to know who came for the event so I always have a sign-in sheet put out for the parents to fill out. I can always use that to refresh my memory of who was there and who didn’t make it. I know that not every parent or guardian is going to be able to come so I want to make sure all the forms get sent home so they can fill them out and return them. 

   If you want to run your own student-led back to school night but you don’t want to do all the work, then you can click here and get your own editable student-led back to school night packet. 

 I hope that everyone has a great start to your school year!


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