Setting up a successful Meet the Teacher Day will get your school year started off on the right foot. It's an important day to meet your new students and their families and a great opportunity to make a positive first impression.
Metting your incoming kindergarteners and their families may feel overwhelming but take a deep breath, you can do it! Meet the teacher day should be a fun way to meet your students and make a positive first impression to get your school year started. If you're feeling anxious, remember your students and their families are feeling anxious, too. You want to be a calm, welcoming presence to help put everyone at ease.
What should I do before Meet the Teacher Day?
When class lists are finalized, send home an introduction letter. Introduce yourself and tell your incoming families about some activities to look forward to this school year. Kids LOVE to get mail and parents will appreciate the time you take to introduce yourself to their families.
In your letter, invite families to your Meet the Teacher Day. You may want to include your supply list and a page of ideas to practice at home to prepare for kindergarten (like using the bathroom independently, opening lunch containers, taking turns, etc.).
Keep things simple so you don't overwhelm parents, but give them some constructive ideas and things to do in the coming weeks before school. If you need some editable templates, you can check out my Back-to-School Forms Bundle here in my TPT store.
What to do about the paperwork?
If you have paperwork for parents to complete, you can set up a table for them. I color-coded forms to keep things easy to sort as forms get turned in. You can use any color system, but it helps to keep the forms organized when all the emergency contact forms are blue, the lunch forms are yellow, etc. Remember to include pens for families to use.
To keep things organized, create a folder for each student. Clearly label the folder with the student's name and put in all the necessary forms and paperwork parents need to complete. The folder system comes in handy if parents would prefer to take the forms home to complete or if you have families who can't make it in person, you'll have all the paperwork together and ready to send home.
Want a cute cover for your folders? Sign up for the editable freebie at the end of this blog post!
What should I have the kids do during Meet the Teacher Day?
Setting up stations in your classroom is a fun way to give your incoming students something constructive to work on while you can walk around the classroom to check-in with new families and introduce yourself to everyone. You can decide how many stations will work best for you, but keep it simple.
You can put out some of your favorite building materials at a table, set up a simple craft or drawing station, a name practice station, and a station to explore the classroom library area. If you have a dramatic play area, set that up with a few things to play.
Your Meet the Teacher Day activities don't need to be complicated. Your incoming kids will be excited and they don't know your routines or expectations, yet. So don't set up materials that you would be upset if they are accidentally broken.
Looking for a wow-factor for Meet the Teacher Day in Kindergarten?
On our most well-received Meet the Teacher Day, we hosted an adopt a reading buddy station. This station had kids choose a stuffed animal to take home to be their reading buddy for the school year. They filled out adoption applications with their parents and decorated a special crate to carry their pets home. You can click here to read more about that here on the blog.
Want something fresh? Try a Rescue A Reading Buddy Station with an ocean theme instead! Click here to check out my Ocean Theme Reading Buddy Rescue Pack in my TPT store.
The beginning of the school year is an exciting time! Embrace the excitement and have a great time meeting your incoming students.
Best wishes for the best school year ever!