Introducing Yourself to Parents
Let parents know who you are before their child even steps into your classroom.
So before I get to the meat of this post, I'll admit that, as a teacher, I did not practice what I'm about to preach. However, the crux of being a good teacher is opening yourself up to new learning. Over the years, I have learned the value of the introductory letter as a school counselor, and I have come to believe it is an absolute necessity for every teacher.
The letter of introduction should not only be for elementary school teachers.
The letter introducing from teachers to parents is a very common thing for elementary school teachers. When my daughter was in elementary school, I got those letters every September. The warm introductions, cute borders and the wonderful colors are so welcoming that those letters made me excited for my child's upcoming school year. Then, around seventh grade, the letters stopped--done, cold turkey. As students get older, we want to give them more autonomy over their school lives. The unintended consequence of this is that we move parents farther away from the home-school connection. That becomes an all too often complaint from parents of struggling students who say they don't know their child's teacher.
Connect With Parents
The Introductory letter is a fantastic way to establish first contact with parents and to bring them into your classroom loop. The key to making the introductory letter count is by making sure it has the following components:
Your name and the subject(s) you teach
Any other activities you advise as faculty
What material your class will cover and your expectations of the students in the class (make it general, otherwise your letter will be too long)--You can also direct parents to the classroom contract for more detailed information on classroom expectations and policies
What you're looking forward to most this year
Date(s) of parent-teacher conferences
Provide your contact information
So that it is accessible to parents, I suggest posting your letter to your class page, Google Classroom (if you use it), email it to parents, and send copies home with students.
For a sample letter, you can download my free template at: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Introductory-Letter-to-Parents-8365933