Back to School Night – The Do’s and Don’ts

Back to school night gives parents the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher and explore the classroom environment. Usually this event is scheduled a month or two after school starts, so for many parents, this is their first interaction with the child’s teacher. In order to get the most out of this event for both you and your child, here are some dos and don’ts of back to school night.

Don’t assume you can bring your child

Some schools have a strict policy when it comes to back to school night and do not allow students to attend. The reasoning behind this is that back to school night is a time for parents and teachers to interact, ask questions, and get to know each other. Don’t assume you can bring your child, instead check with the school first and follow their policy.

Do take notes

Bring a notepad and pen to write down important dates, activities, rules and policies that can affect your child. This is especially important if you have a younger child that may not always remember to tell you about upcoming school events. Write down the teacher’s contact information so you can always keep an open line of communication regarding your child.

Don’t go into an in-depth conversation about your child

Just like you, other parents are there to meet and interact with their child’s teacher. Be courteous and don’t consume all of the teacher’s time by going into an in-depth conversation about your child. Since back to school night is held early in the school year, it is difficult for a teacher to gauge your child’s performance based on only a few weeks of class. Remember you will have other opportunities to discuss your child’s academic progress during parent-teacher conferences. Leave back to school night as a time for a quick meet-and-greet.

Do ask questions

Your child’s teacher will most likely give a brief presentation and then open up the forum for parents to ask questions. Take this time to ask questions regarding the homework policy, grading, volunteering, class expectations and academic curriculum. Ask questions that apply to all students, not just your child specifically.

Don’t be late

Remember that back to school night is the first impression your child’s teacher will have of you, so don’t be late. Mark “Back to School Night” on your calendar and put a reminder on your phone. Arrive early to avoid parking delays and locate a school map to find your child’s classroom. If you have more than one child attending school, devise a plan with your spouse to split up the classrooms.

As a parent, attending back to school night is extremely important. It shows that you are committed and willing to play an active role in your child’s education. So take the time out of your busy schedule to attend this event because it is in the best interest of all the parties involved, especially your child.

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