Welcoming Your New Parents

Today I'm teaming up with some of my favorite blogging gals to share some tips to help your back to school season go as smoothly as possible. In my district, teachers went back last Thursday, but we don't get kids until a week from tomorrow. Even though this will be my 11th year teaching, I'm still always on the hunt for good tips and tricks!
As teachers, we naturally spend lots of time getting our rooms perfect, and designing the *perfect* plans for that first week. However, sometimes we tend to forget about the precious people who are leaving us their babies {even in middle school, those hormone ridden kids are someone's babies!}. I've always tried to keep parents in mind, but it really did change when I had my own child and had to leave her with someone else!
When I meet parents for the first time at our school's parent orientation night, I want them to feel welcome and at ease in my classroom, and I want them to leave knowing that their child is in good hands. I try to do this in a couple of ways. First, I like to have a little welcoming gift for them {in my room, they'll be at their child's seat}. Does this cost a little extra and take a few extra minutes? Sure, but to me, it's worth it. I think if parents see we've taken the extra time to do a little something for them, they'll truly appreciate it.
I've done a variety of gifts in the past, and this year I'm going back to an oldie, but goodie! I bought a big bag of apples at Wal-Mart, found this cute chevron tulle ribbon on the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby, and made a little tag to go with it. {This saying has been around forever, so I'm not quite sure who to credit it to, but I originally got this idea from my mentor in high school, Mrs. Shelley}. I think the parents will love it! You can get the tag here as a freebie.

Next, I try to make paperwork as easy as possible. At orientation, I have a folder for each student. On one side, I put all the FYI paperwork that does not need to be returned. On the other side, I put all the papers that need to be completed and returned. The parents can return the papers in their child's folder, which makes it easy for me to keep up with the gobs of paperwork we have.

{Normally, I type the labels to save time, but this is an extra I had left over from last year and I just made a name up and wrote a label quickly to have an example ;)}

{Notice I have a whole big page for transportation...I'm so paranoid about someone going home the wrong way!}
 I also include a magnet in this pack with all of my information. I want parents to feel at ease contacting me, and I want them to know that I love for them to be involved!

Last, since I teach kindergarten, I like to give the parents a little something when they drop the kids off with me that first day. It never fails that the parents are crying {while the kids are all, "See ya later, Mom!"} so this is my go to. I've also had this poem a loooooong time and don't know who the credit goes to - any ideas??. Buy some packs of individual tissues and tie a note to it - easy as that! {You can also get this tag as a freebie here for the boy version and here for the girl version}
{Frame - Graphics from the Pond, Font - Cara Carroll}

I'd love to hear how you make parents feel welcome at the beginning of the year! Share your ideas!
Now, hop over to Tanja's blog to read more great tips for back to school :)
http://www.journeyofasubstituteteacher.com/

18 comments

  1. I love, LOVE, both of these parent poems!! I always give the kids something to ease their minds about the first day, but never really found anything that was just *perfect* for the parents! Thank you for the freebie. I also give folders to each parent during kindergarten orientation and love how it keeps both them and me organized! Thanks again for the adorable freebies! :)

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  2. I love your ideas for welcoming parents! I try to remember on that first day with students that my students' parents feel the same anxieties I feel when I entrust my child to her teacher!

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  3. Awwww! I want to be a mom in your class!!!
    Squirrels
    Go Nutty with Me!

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  4. Love, love, love!! I've got to pin this for next year!!

    Angela

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  5. So impressive! Thanks for sharing all your beautiful ideas with us!

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  6. This is awesome!! How did you make your magnets?

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  7. Sniff....sniff....I remember leaving Jackson for the first day of Kindergarten even though I'd been leaving him at daycare for years! It is something about that independence I think!

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  8. Love these! I have been looking for something to attach to tissues for the parents and this poem takes the cake! Thanks so much!
    Lindsey
    Chalkboard Charm

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  9. Thank you for the CUTE tag!! Looks like I'll be buying a lot of apples! :)
    ❤Teri
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

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  10. Amazing ideas! I wish I would have had that poem for the tissue packet when I taught kindergarten. It is perfect! The counselors at my school used to host a "Boo-Hoo Breakfast". We gave the parents a tissue with a label in the middle of it inviting them to the library to visit with the counselors at the Boo-Hoo Breakfast. The counselors were great about giving them strategies to help with the transition. There were always a few that asked the counselors to come check on their child and then call them. Yes, the counselors really did do that. Great counselors, right?!!

    I loved your post and am sharing it with my FB followers.

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  11. Love the apple! I have seen that over the years but have never done it. Simple, yet fun! Thanks for the reminder!

    Megan
    Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade

    Mrs. Wheeler's TPT

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  12. Thank you for the great advice and adorable freebies! Do you have a girl version of the poem that says she instead of he? Or the name of Cara's font so I can change it? Thanks so much! = )

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    1. Ditto on the girl version. Do you have one? Thanks!

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  13. Is there a way you can post the transportation form. I would love to use it also. Thanks!

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  14. I did the apple thing last year, they loved it

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  15. Do you have a version of the parent poem that says "her" instead of "him"?

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    1. Yes :)
      It's in this blog post http://plantspress.blogspot.com/2015/08/making-connections-from-start.html?m=1

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