Monday, August 5, 2013

Back to School: Welcome Letters

Yikes! Hard to believe August started this week. In my school, that means that letters with teacher placements went out to families this week and kids are back-to-school shopping. Although my school sends home a letter to inform the families of teacher assignments, I always send home a welcome letter from me. It puts the families at ease to learn a little bit more about the teacher and to feel as if they've been reached out to before the school year begins.

My welcome letter includes:
  • A brief biography and background of me
  • A brief overview of my philosophy of teaching and parent communication
  • A request for a letter back from the parents (this wonderful portion of the letter comes from Beth Newingham's opening letter)
  • A supply list
  • One sheet of Avery labels with the student's name on them (I like everything labeled and this way I know it is labeled to my liking and it also helps the parents out!)
  • An invitation to Meet the Teacher Day (This is optional, but since I teach a K-1 self-contained room, it is helpful for the families and students to be able to come visit the classroom and meet me before the first day of school. This is also a good idea if you have students who have recently began receiving special education services or are transitioning to a new building or special education setting.)
In addition to welcome letters at the beginning of the school year, I have always sent home introduction letters to the families when I was in long-term substitute positions. Families have a difficult time with the transition of new teachers, especially when their students receive special education services. It was always my goal to ensure that my families felt comfortable reaching out to me and understood that I wasn't just a warm body to fill the room while the other teacher was on leave. Reaching out goes a long way with parents!

Here are some samples of my letters:

Introduction Letter: Back to School
Supply List
Meet the Teacher Invitation


Labels for Supplies


I've sent letters like this home in the past when I was a consultant and resource teacher:


Here is an example of an introduction letter when I was a long-term substitute coming in in the middle of the year:






10 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing. I am working on a Welcome letter tonight for my parents. Appreciate your ideas that you have shared. This is my third year teaching kindergarten but the first year that I have had time to do a Welcome letter.

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  3. Thanks, very helpful post. I'll be using some of these ideas in my welcome letter this year.

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