My first day of school is often interrupted with last-minute interactions involving the parents of my students. Believe me, this can really throw a wrench into your morning.
As you know from other pages on this site, I highly value my relationships with Mom and Dad. They are so crucial to the success of their child in school.
There is no time at all to be wasted the morning of my first day of school and parents, frankly, tend to be a little bit selfish regarding their purpose. They have taken time off of work for one reason only: To ensure their own child is...
It's natural parental instinct. But they also want you to focus on their child as well. That's why Mom showed up early in your classroom, child in tow, to introduce herself. What Mom is really saying is:
The first day can
be hardest on Mom
"Please make Susie feel better about me leaving her alone all day."
I get it. But 15 minutes before the first bell rings I'm still:
My first day of school is about all of the kids and does not include free time for chatting. But chat we must, at least briefly.
You must be ready for this to occur, because it will happen every single year. And we absolutely do not want to do anything that will damage the parent-teacher relationship on the first day (or ever, really).
So have your line ready:
"Oh, my gosh, it's so nice to meet you and I'm glad you came by to talk to me. This morning I'm really working hard to get all my new students started off right - you can see how much I have going on."
TIP: Address both the parent and the child.
And push for them to attend the real relationship builder, your open house:
"I really hope you're going to come to the open house in a couple of weeks where we can talk in greater depth."
Then add your nice hint:
"I'll see you out on the blacktop in a few minutes, Angela. I'm excited!"
If a parent asks if Angela can just wait in the room, the nice answer is:
"It's best for Angela to learn our morning procedure along with the other students. I'll meet you out there in just a few minutes. Go look for my sign!"
Handled properly, your first day of school can be the first day of a long and productive teacher-parent relationship.
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