Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Making a Positive First Impression with Parents

When I was a new teacher, and even when I had taught for years but had moved to a different school, I struggled with what to write in an introduction to parents. Should I get personal, or should I avoid any "touchy-feely" stuff to maintain my professionalism? I don't think there are easy answers!

I found it helpful to read other teachers' introductions, and for that reason, I share the, "About Me"  from my teaching blog here. I would have simply linked to the page, but my school last year kept teacher blogs private within the school community.

Hope this is helpful!

I am so excited to be in Grade 4 at **** School for my third year. We are going to have a wonderful year, exploring, discovering connections with ourselves, each other, and the global community.

Although it's difficult to capture all I would like to share with you in such a brief post, there are a few things that I would love for you to know and remember in our year together as teammates:
  1. I am here to listen, ask clarifying questions, answer your questions, and work with you in helping your child discover ways that he/she learns best.
  2. I believe that celebrating the strengths and unique qualities of students allows them to flourish and to build resilience so that they thrive through the toughest of challenges. You can read more on my personal blog, if you'd like to know more about my philosophy.
  3. I care deeply about the students in my class. I do my best to get to know them, but I don't know them as you do.  Please let me know when there is something happening that may impact your child's learning. I want to be proactive in supporting your child.
  4. I will challenge your child and work diligently to empower him/her to become an independent, responsible learner. I ask that you also encourage your child to step into a "discomfort zone" in order to grow. When students find success in taking on these new challenges, they often gain an extraordinary feeling of confidence. `
  5. I consider teaching to be an art and a science. In order to engage students in active learning, I must always be designing and redesigning the curriculum to meet the needs of the unique students in my class.
  6. I am a proud mom of 2 incredible children: Stefanie, age 24, who is attending graduate school in North Carolina and Nick, age 25, who graduated from MIT last year and works as a mechanical engineer in New Hampshire. Being a mother has profoundly impacted me in my journey to make learning in the classroom relevant and challenging for all children. My experience with my own kids has reinforced my understanding of the uniqueness of each learner.

I'd love to know what you include in your introduction to parents! Please share in the comments. 


Tanya Braybrook said...

What a wonderful introduction! Are you ok if I paraphrase bits and pieces for my introduction? I use many of the same ideas but I love your way with words!

Tanya Braybrook

Joan Young (aka Mancini) said...

Thanks so much for your comment. Of course, use as much as you like! Thanks for asking :-)

Unknown said...

This is great! May I also borrow parts for my introduction. It is very well written.

Mr So said...

One of the best things I did this year was send out a questionnaire to my parents asking them to tell me about their kid. What do they like? What are their strengths? Net steps? What do they expect? It set a real positive tone to parents. As to what I say, I tell them how I teach, why I teach this way and where they can find information. Great post.

Mrs. Muller said...

Thank you for sharing your introductions! It was absolutely beautiful and being a parent, I would love reading that about my son's teacher. Now as an educator, I applaud you for writing this and sharing it with those educators that this doesn't come easy for. Love. ��

Joan Young (aka Mancini) said...

Thank you all for the comments. Diane, yes, of course you may borrow! I shared for that very reason. Mr. So: yes, I do that was well: ask parents to tell me about their children. So glad you mentioned that! Rebecca, thank you so much for your kind words. Best to all of you!

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