Tonight we held our ‘Meet the Teacher’ forums. This is an opportunity for parents to pop into school to meet their children‘s new class teachers before the summer break. The evening has grown to be a very popular event on the calendar and something we are delighted to see being so well attended.
The idea for Meet the Teacher came about several years ago but it wasn’t until the last few years that we really looked carefully at how the sessions might best benefit parents. The meetings used to take place early in September but this was too late to allay many parents’ fears. By then we’d had the first manic morning back and dealt with parental uncertainties as to which class, which door, who is Mrs/Miss/Mr so and so and what does she/he look like? Through our Home School Group, parents suggested that ‘Meet the Teacher would be more helpful at the end of the summer term rather than the beginning of the autumn term and we subsequently moved the meetings.
A common format was agreed with staff that had enough space and flexibility for teachers to decide how they would best like to share information with parents. For some, the sessions began as informal one to one chats while other parents looked around the class but this year most teachers gave a short presentation before speaking to parents individually. When we first set up these meetings we would be lucky to have more than two or three parents in each class, but over the years the numbers have steadily grown and it was pleasing tonight to see that most classes has upwards of half the parents there.
I spoke to several families and asked if they had found the opportunity to come in and meet their children’s new class teacher useful, their response was overwhelmingly positive. They appreciated the chance to meet staff new to them, to found out about the systems and procedures for September, the curriculum, class blogs, the opportunities for them to come into school, to help the children with their learning logs and much more. Most importantly, those parents who came into school this evening now know their children’s new teacher, they have begun a relationship with them that will last for the next academic year and beyond. Meet the Teacher helps us to build a strong positive partnership with parents and families from the outset, a hugely important aspect of school life.