I have been setting up my classroom and creating lesson plans months in advance so that I will be well prepared when school starts. One thing that I ALWAYS make a priority, that many teachers don’t really consider, is communicating with parents and students before school begins- and I’m not talking about just at Open House. I send parents a survey to be emailed back to me or to be brought to Open House. I prefer for the survey to be emailed back to me long before Open House because it helps me to plan my lessons better and be more effective in teaching each student in the way he or she learns. The feedback I have received from parents has been overwhelming. Most parents inform me that no previous teacher has ever sent communication over the summer, and they are very grateful for my proactive approach to make the year as successful as possible for their child. By sending the survey, parent know that I care for their child and I am their child’s advocate. Just by sending a form I have gained their full support. The evidence doesn’t lie. In my nine years of teaching, I have received only 1 complaint. ONE.
This survey might take time out of my summer, but the dividends are worth more than the time it took to input a few emails.
The pic above is a preview of the survey. There are 3 pages total. The first page asks for basic information; the second page asks about the student’s learning styles, strengths and weaknesses, and inquires as to what motivates the student; the last page provides blank lines for parents to inform me of anything else they think is necessary. You can download this survey for FREE here.
In addition to communicating with parents, I also begin corresponding with my future students. I send post cards when I go on vacation, send an “About Me” letter with my picture, and I usually send them a small gift in the mail. This year I made bookmarks for all of my students. I think these are soooo cute!!! There are a lot of different stylistic pieces in the bookmarks, so I can’t really do a template for you. But I will tell you what I did.
1. Make long rectangles in the program you are using. I used Microsoft Publisher.
2. For the girl’s bookmark, download the Valentine Doodle Frames from Surfin through Second .
3. Download “Rebekah’s Birthday” Font from
4. Download the “funky pink heart” from My Cute Graphics
I changed the color of the heart to gray.
For the Boys:
1. Make the long rectangle.
2. Download the “Frostbitten Candy Canes” pack for free from Collaboration Cuties
This is the background to the boys’ bookmark.
2. Download “KBZippadeedoodah” font for free from Khrys Bosland here.
3. Download the monsters for free from Creative Clips here.
And that’s it!! All of the clipart/designs are free!
I think my students will like these and may help them get a little more excited about school. Plus when parents see that I am taking the time to makes these for their child, it will just ease their minds even more about having their child in my class. I think it is harder than ever to be in the field of education. Having parent support and students who are excited to be in your class make it a world easier. I wish you much success in your Open House and your school year!