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How To Host an Incredible Back to School Night and Impress Your Parents

Back to school night, meet the teacher night, open house, whatever you call it. It sets the tone for parent-teacher relationships throughout the year. Yes, it’s certainly possible to come back from a less-than-stellar meet-the-teacher night, but why not start the year off on a high note?

Hosting a well-organized, smooth back to school night will give parents the impression you have it all together, even if you still have half-packed boxes and piles of supplies on your desk.

Let’s Start with My Main Tip for Back to School Night:

Think about what information you want to both share and receive from parents and guardians. Then create easy systems to share it with each other.

Not sure what I mean? Keep reading to see how to set up simple ways to communicate information with parents at back to school night.

Stations Aren’t Just for Kids

back to school night important info station sign in acrylic sign holder

Want to be free to meet and talk with parents throughout your meet the teacher night? Set up back to school night stations around the room.

Sending parents and guardians to complete forms and gather information will open you up to say hello and answer questions that can’t be answered on a flyer. Plus, it spreads people out away from the door and encourages a bit of independence.

Each station sign can be taped to a desk or wall next to the flyers and/or forms. I personally think putting them in an acrylic sign holder is best because it makes them visible from across the room. You can get cheap ones on Amazon and at office supply stores. They can also serve other organizational purposes in the classroom after meet the teacher night.

Back to school night stations you probably want to have:

  • Transportation – Find out how your kids are going home.
  • Student Information – Collect important information about your students.
  • Get Involved – Seek parent volunteers.
  • Teacher Contact Information – Make sure parents know how to get ahold of you. See the section below for fun ideas about this.
  • Supplies – Either give out lists or have parents organize the supplies they brought.
  • Photo Station or Booth – There are a lot of cute & cheap props available on TPT for this.

These back to school night stations help ensure all the important stuff is covered.

6 back to school night station signs

Sharing Important Info at Back to School Night

Parents will have a million questions at back to school night. You can minimize the amount of answering you’ll have to do by planning ahead for frequently asked questions and making sure you have ways to distribute the information. 

Your school will likely have some flyers prepared for the basics about drop off, dismissal, lunch, attendance and such. I usually place all the school-wide flyers next to the sign-in sheet with a sign that says “Take One.”

Some common questions you may want to think about if you’re preparing a class brochure:

  • Do you have or allow snacks?
  • What time is lunch? (If you know yet)
  • Are students allowed to bring a tablet or a Kindle for reading?
  • How can I support my child at home?
  • What will homework look like?
  • Can I bring cupcakes for my child’s birthday?
  • Do you have a wishlist/items you need?
  • What’s the best way to contact you? (See the section below to help with this answer.)
meet the teacher night supply station sign with qr code for a digital supply list

Whether you use my back to school night stations or create your own, be sure to share important information in easy access ways.

Flyers are a good fallback, but you can cut down on paper waste by providing QR codes linked to online information and Google Docs™.

For example, my supplies station has a QR code that will share the students’ supply list via Google Slides™. 

Collect Important Info from Parents at Back to School Night

Collecting important information from parents is just as important as sharing it at back to school night. At the very least, you’ll want to be sure you ask how their child is going home from school.

back to school night transportation station sign with qr code for an online option and editable transportation list

QR codes are useful here as well. You can use them to share Google Forms™ with parents to collect information about their child and their child’s transportation. Your parents and guardians will LOVE that they don’t have to keep track of and return a million forms to you. They can fill it all out on their phones right then and there at meet the teacher night. No hassle. No fuss.

Worried it’ll be a lot of work to set up? Don’t fret. Here’s a quick video from the video tutorial library in my Back to School Forms resource to show you how to link it.

Even better news – You can send all the parent responses from a form to a Google Sheet™, making it super easy to get organized.

Your Contact Info Says A Lot About You at Meet the Teacher Night

Share your contact information in a way that’s easy and memorable for parents. You don’t want them to leave meet the teacher night without quick access to your contact info. A flyer with information about you and your contact info at the top is not enough. That paper is likely to be misplaced or thrown away after they read it.

Instead, give your parents and guardians something they are likely to hold onto and be able to access all year long.

The two easiest ways to impress your parents and guardians:

back to school night teacher contact magnets on the whiteboard

1. Teacher Contact Magnets

These are business cards for the fridge. Besides being super cute, they’ll live in your students’ kitchens as easy reminders that you’re just a phone call or email away. Plus, they look great on the whiteboard at back to school night.

Check out my four editable designs here.

back to school night teacher contact information station sign with qr code for an online option and a phone showing the downloaded contact info

2. QR Code to a Digital Contact Card

This is a super fast way for parents and guardians to save your information on their phones. You create a QR code and add it to a sign in your room. Then parents can just scan the QR code and hit save. Watch the video below to see how to create this. (It takes less than 5 minutes.)

Ask for Help

back to school night parent volunteers station sign and volunteer sign-up form with qr code for an online options

Don’t forget to ask for parent volunteers. I devote an entire station to this to make sure it isn’t missed.

Not keen on having parents help in the room? Ask if any are comfortable with you sending some things home to be cut out. Or post a “Giving Tree” or wishlist up on the board. A quick, easy way to create this is by writing needed items on sticky notes and having parents grab one if they are willing and able to donate to the class.

Go Digital on Back to School Night

Nobody likes having to keep track of all the loose papers at back to school time. And it can be a real pain trying to make sure everyone has turned each one back in.

And, oh the piles. The piles of papers that seem to fill your desk every morning of the first week of school can drive you crazy.

While the school will undoubtedly have forms that have to physically be signed and returned, you can cut down on some of the paper stack clutter by going digital with your classroom forms during back to school night.

Google Forms™ and QR codes will be your best friends for this.

Make Meet the Teacher Night Memorable

Encourage your students to take a family photo before they leave. You don’t have to have a fancy photo booth set up for this. (Although, you certainly could if you have the time.)

Just have them take their back to school photo in front of your door. Or have them create a simple sign using a small whiteboard. You can also find some cute props to print and cut out on TPT if you want to dress it up.

If You Don’t Feel Ready for Parents:

Stop worrying about having everything in your classroom 100% done and perfect before parents show up and focus on creating an organized back-to-school night.

Things being “pretty” is far less important than sharing and collecting information. Besides, having back to school night stations with some cute signs out will help disguise the fact that everything else isn’t ready.

Want It All Done for You?

cover image of back to school night/meet the teacher night forms and station resource from CCR on TPT

Grab my Back to School Night Forms on TPT for less than $5 and let me do the heavy lifting.

You’ll Get:

  • A Sign-In Sheet for Back to School Night
  • 6 Back to School Night Station Signs (each with multiple options)
  • Editable Forms to help you get and stay organized
  • Links to Ready Made, Editable Google Forms™
  • Video Tutorials to help with Google™ Options and QR Codes

Click here to learn more and take a peek inside this back to school night resource with the preview on TPT.

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