Last fall during my student teaching Kathy called up the parents of every student and invited both parents and students to come before school began and have an individual conference. This year with so much going on I will not have that kinds of time, but I will take the time for a short phone call. I will welcome the student to the class and tell him or her a little of what I am excited about, and I will ask what he or she is looking forward to during the third grade. I will also talk to the parents. I have learned to ask early in the school year what the parents expectations and worries are for the year ahead, is there anything I should know about this student? You never can be sure what you will find out that will be essential to your planning, everything from home-school communications and previously unreported allergies, to gaining an idea of how the parents view school.
This is also a chance to open the door to parents, let them know that I care about what they have to say, and I want to hear it. Let them know that if they have questions about what is going on in school I will make myself available to them and answer questions or provide resources.
I will also find out if parents have internet access for our class web page so I will know who to send printed versions of the newsletter to. All of this is in addition to mailing out my letter of introduction and welcome, where my contact information and the class web page will be made available. I am so excited to begin getting to know my students this year!