Meet the teacher night is different everywhere. Some are specifically for students, some for parents/guardians, and some are for both!
Meet the teacher nights don’t have to be something you dread – they can actually be fun. We typically know what will entertain our students – so let’s focus on the adults. Most of the parents/guardians attending will be coming straight from work, so think of things that would be enjoyable for you after a long day at school.
Before Meet The Teacher Night
- First find out what is required from your admin team. Some years I have had to present a formal slideshow presentation on assessment practices and others I just had to wear my staff shirt and be available for parents to chat.
- Have your students tidy up the classroom. This might be the only time your families visit and you want to showcase all the great things about your room.
- Have textbooks/resources on display. Even though the night is usually meant to be low key – some parents will want to see the resources their children will be using.
- Have any parent/guardian handouts photocopied and prominently displayed.
- Eat a small meal before the event – even though dinner might be provided you most likely will not get time to eat it between meeting all the families.
Here are some ways to make Meet The Teacher Night at your school an event families will remember.
Especially since most meet the teacher nights are around dinner time – having dinner provided is one less thing these parents/guardians have to worry about!
You can have the PTO (or administration) serve something very easy like corn on the cob, pizza, hot dogs, burgers. Families can purchase the food and it can be a fundraiser for the school.
The setup can have food booths with games and bouncy houses too. Throughout the “party” each teacher can be at a different booth or station and info about their class can be present as handouts or brochures.
This gives students and parents/guardians a chance to see you in a relaxed and fun setting. The party can eventually lead them into the school, to your classroom and then eventually take a tour of the school.
Food Truck Event
If your school wants to serve food, make it a food truck event. Food trucks are super popular right now and everyone loves them. Find a bunch of different food trucks to come set up at your school – the more variety the better. Even local restaurants or businesses that don’t have a truck can participate with a booth or table.
Students and parents/guardians can work together to solve this scavenger hunt. This can be done on a small scale in your classroom – or on a larger scale over the whole school.
This can also serve as a self-guided tour. Parents/guardians and students can learn the school layout while having fun together. You can do this both ways if you choose.
Larger scale to give a “tour” and your classroom version can be more informational (with some fun about you) with classroom procedures, supplies, digital logins, etc.
This option is my favourite because it takes the onus off the teacher to entertain everyone for 1 – 2 hours just in their classroom.
Remember that the scavenger hunt should include students visiting all of their teachers, not just their homeroom.
Use social media in a variety of ways to amp up meet the teacher night.
- Before The Event: Hype the night up using all social media platforms that the school uses (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat). Have students help create the content to post. Meet the teacher night doesn’t have to seem like people have to go to – but something that people get to come to. You can make it seem like a VIP event.
- During The Event: Make all the parents/guardians and students feel like VIPs. Give them lanyards, have “paparazzi”, security, red carpet, etc. When parents/guardians and students are escorted to your class – make it about them! While they are learning about you – make it about them. You want them to feel special and leave feeling like a priority. Have social media friendly spaces around the school that are nice backdrops for photos.
- After The Event: Post pictures and videos about the event and show how excited everyone is about the school year.
Make It A Competition
Think field day – but for families. Have different events that families can participate in around the school – both inside and outside.
Events like sack races, obstacle courses, egg-and-spoon races, tug-of-war, as well as brain games like trivia or riddles can be a lot of fun. Minute-to-win-it games are also low-prep and can be done anywhere.
This can be done on the football field, cafeteria, gym, or even your classroom. You can do winners for each grade and overall winners for the whole school.
Every community will have different needs and different cultures you can incorporate. Think about your community and school and what will be best. You may be able to use some of these ideas and create an amazing idea of your own.
My absolute favourite part of Meet The Teacher Night is when my former students who are now in high school or university come back to say hi. Don’t let others’ negative attitude about this night spoil your fun – make an effort to get to know the families that came to meet you.
If you are looking for a fantastic outline of what you need tell parents about during Meet The Teacher Night check out this very detailed blog post by Dr. Lori Friesen.