Family Engagement

5-Minute Film Festival: Back-to-School Night Survival

Looking for a little back-to-school inspiration? Check out these tips for making a great first impression and connection with parents in this playlist.

August 26, 2016 Manga

"You've got ten minutes to make a great first impression -- it's a little like speed dating!" says Laura Randazzo, a journalist-turned-English-teacher who contributed one of the videos in the playlist below. No wonder back-to-school night can be nerve-racking! If you need some tips, or just a good laugh to break up those beginning-of-the-year jitters, check out my collection of videos and resources below.

Video Playlist: Back-to-School Night Survival

Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.

  1. Back To School Night: A Little Like Speed Dating (12:48)

    Need a cheat sheet for your back-to-school night presentation? Former journalist and current English teacher Laura Randazzo shares both her Prezi template and her speech for you to take inspiration from.

  2. Baby Got Class -- A Back-to-School Parody (02:13)

    The Holderness Family does not hold back in this hilarious parody they made to express appreciation for all the teachers and support staff who work with their children during the school year.

  3. SOST #10 (Scares of Student Teaching) -- Open House/Back to School Night Classroom Ideas (03:01)

    This earnest student teacher describes how he has prepared his room for Open House -- including a tour of his student work displays and a quick peek at the slideshow he made.

  4. Back to School Open House Presentation (05:47)

    If you're feeling ambitious, consider making a video to show during the event! This can be a great way to spice up those otherwise dry procedures and rules you have to share. Although, many would say generating classroom expectations along with students gets better results.

  5. BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT {224} (09:23)

    How about experiencing the parent POV? The Baileys are a blended, Midwestern family who vlog almost daily to document their experiences; here's their take on back-to-school night with two of their daughters.

  6. Mr. M's Back to School Night Parody (Public Service Announcement Jay-Z) (01:31)

    Of course, if you were one of The Singing History Teachers, you might actually write and perform a rap song to explain your teaching style and philosophies to your classroom community.

  7. Teacher Tips ~ Meet the Teacher / Parent Night (21:09)

    Alabama kindergarten teacher and YouTuber Briget Spackman, from The Lettered Classroom, gives her 10 best tips for surviving parent nights. Learn more about her in this interview.

  8. Mrs. James' Class ... Parent Open House Video GONE WRONG! (14:32)

    This one takes a while to pay off, but the level of commitment to the joke is impressive. A teacher who had the same class for a second year decided to get inventive by making a satire (in cahoots with her students) where she plays a Viola-Swamp-style wicked witch of a teacher.

  9. Parent-Teacher Partnerships: Building the Relationship beyond Back-to-School Night (41:40)

    I don't typically include long Google Hangouts, but this one from Clara Galan and Remind is chock full of advice on how to extend parent-teacher relationships way beyond back-to-school night, and it features Edutopia community facilitator Gwen Pescatore, among others!

  10. Back To School Night Promotional Video (00:40)

    Sometimes just getting the families to show up can be a challenge. How about stacking the deck in your favor by having your adorable students film a promo for back-to-school night to encourage attendance?

More Resources for Back-to-School Night

Whether you're a newbie or a veteran, evening meet-and-greets like back-to-school night can be intimidating. The best way to prepare is to get a really good night's rest and be yourself, but if you want some additional pointers, here's a roundup of dos and don'ts from a variety of trusted sources to make the best of the opportunity to build connections with your students' families.

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