New Teachers: Make the First Week Easier With Take-Home Packets

Take-home packets are a must for students at the start of each school year. This packet helps you communicate the objectives of the class for the year to students and their parents. It also helps you communicate important information concerning rules and consequences, the school calendar, special events, and any new activities or changes that have been made over the summer months. If you keep parents informed from the beginning, you have made the first step in building strong parent-teacher relationships. Make sure that you include the following in the take-home packet:

 Welcome message to parents
School rules
 Supply list
 Emergency and approval forms to be signed by parents
 Transport rules and bus route

Additionally, you may want to accomplish the following activities during the first week of the new academic year:

 Prepare class rolls and records.
 Create nametags for each child.
 Get to know the schedule for each student, including gym, art, library and lunch schedules.
 Create a folder that can be used by a substitute teacher in case you are unable to make it to the school; this should include the daily schedule and seating chart.
 Create a file for each student that contains information about the child and correspondence from parents.
 Develop tentative lesson plans for the next week, and place them in a folder.

Completing the items on this checklist will help you feel more comfortable, organized, and in control when the horde of excited students appear at your door on the first day of school. Also, by starting the year off with a bang, you are setting the tone for the rest of the school year. In- stead of dealing with classroom management issues, organizational issues, and disgruntled parents, you’ll be able to enjoy a relatively stress-free first few days.

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