The Dos and Don’ts of Back-to-School Night is a good post with wise advice for teachers from Abner Oakes.
Here are just two of his points:
1. Don’t ask us to fill out a handout that asks questions such as, “Is there anything that you’d like to share with me about your child?” Are we supposed to be listening to the teacher during the short time that we’re in the classroom or filling out this sheet? If a teacher really wants this info, send it home with us, so that we can do a thoughtful job.
2. As one parent said to me about these kinds of evenings, “I want to leave excited about the learning that’s happening, not about the mechanics.” And so don’t spend time talking about grading policy. That’s no doubt somewhere on the school’s or teacher’s website. When teachers spend time on this topic and not on an excited-about-learning topic, a clear message is sent to us: Grades are more important than the teaching and learning.
I’m adding this to The Best Sources Of Parent Engagement Advice For Teachers.