Back To School Night for Teachers: All Smiles

To My Teacher Friends:

The calendar may read that September ends next Tuesday, but for me, September ends with Back to School Night.  Back to School Night, the last of the Opening of School rituals.  The last rite of passage before the school year sails into normalcy or at least as normal as a school year can be.  At quarter of nine on Thursday night, maybe a little longer, after the lot clears, Back to School season is over.  Let’s welcome “ordinary time” and its regular rituals and routines.

On Back to School night, for a few precious minutes, the stage may be ours, but the star of the show is the student. Parents attend this meeting to ascertain how their child, the student, will fit in the environment. All they care about is their child and to ensure that they are set up for nothing less than success.  I don’t blame them.

So, give them what they want.  Embrace it.  Be clear about your expectations for your classroom and what their child needs to do to succeed.  Above all, be positive.  This is another “set the tone” moment.  I guarantee that a dour beginning will drag on and on all year, and, eventually, inevitably, on a dreary April day, one parent will declare to me, “I knew this was doomed from Back to School Night and you refused to move my son to another class.”

Thank you, Nostradamus.  I did not see that one coming.

This is not a call to sell out.  This is a call to smile.  This a call to create a mindset of success and partner with parents to bring their children across the finish line.  After all, at the end of the day, we all believe the same mantra: All students can succeed in our classroom.  We are here for their child, for every child.  We are teachers, with Christ as our model.  When we say it with a smile, even after we worked all day, when we say it with belief, who can argue that?