Have a successful Parent's Night {and a FREE Math pennant}

FREE Order of Operations pennant

I have worked for some great principals. My first principal ever lead with tough love for both students and faculty. He epitomized Growth Mindset and saw us as whole people who may mess up once in a while. Back when I first started teaching, classroom management was a real struggle for me. In fact it still is, though thankfully not as bad as it had been 10 years ago. I may not be getting ready to go back to school if it was still as bad as back then!

Free Order of Operations Math Pennant
The best teaching advice I got from this first principal was: "A good curriculum is the best classroom management." 

This has stuck with me. When kids are engaged, there's little need for discipline because kids feel successful. This advice drives most of how I teach and the lessons I create for my students. As a Special Education teacher, I deal with a lot of parents. I hold lots of meetings and am in constant communication with home. Sometimes parent interactions completely frustrate me and I don't feel I can be diplomatic. This is where the second piece of advice from my second principal comes in: "All parents ever want to know is that you like their kid." 

Taking this viewpoint completely changed the way I interact with parents. First and foremost, my job is to help students and help their parents feel that they have a liaison in their corner. It's tough sometimes, but I always fall back on this valuable piece of advice when working with parents, especially the demanding ones. Even so, Parent's Night has always filled me with terror. Will the parents like me? Will I make a good first impression? Will I have answers to all of their questions? Is there something in my teeth? This is a big one. I once went through an entire interview with a chunk of cranberry sauce on my eyebrow. It was from my turkey sandwich. It was on MY EYEBROW.

"A good curriculum is the best classroom management."

I excitedly talk about our curriculum and all of the activities we do throughout the year.

"All parents ever want to know is that you like their kid."

I talk about how passionate I am about getting kids to like Math.

Back to School pennant: A Math GLYPH
I believe that part of communicating to parents that their kids are top priority is having a classroom that is inviting. This is a strong nonverbal way of saying, "I want to be here for your kids." 

Some of my students' parents did not have the best experiences in school themselves when they were kids, so to me, showing that I care enough to make my classroom colorful and fun is important. If you're looking for a fun back to school activity that doubles as class decor, this Back to School pennant has a fun Golden Spiral theme. 

Lastly is some advice I got from a colleague after relaying the goings on of my difficult class last year: "When things get tough, I tell myself I can do anything for an hour." 

In my school parents travel to each of their kid's classes for just 15 minutes. I can handle that!

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