Ready or not, a new school year is upon us. For students this means shopping for school supplies, getting familiar with a new classroom, and mentally preparing for the year of assignments and class projects. For teachers, it means a carefully curated curriculum, getting acquainted with new students and their needs, and planning for back to school night and other parent-teacher conferences. The flurry of events leading up to the first week of school can be overwhelming for everyone involved.
Luckily, presentations are your friend here (consider them your unofficial teacher’s aid).
Back to school night is a chance to create a sense of community between students, their parents, and teachers. It opens up communication, sets expectations, and provides everyone with the resources they need to be successful. Presentations can act as the vessel to deliver that information so that nothing falls between the cracks.
This is for you, teachers. We see you, and we appreciate you. Check out this simple— but effective— back to school presentation template.
Customize this deck here.
It’s likely you’re getting an entirely new class with students you’ve never met before (plus their parents). Your back to school presentation is a chance to introduce yourself and your staff, your background in teaching, your interest in the subject, and your teaching style. In this section you might also include a high level overview of the class.
To keep the introduction portion of your back to school presentation engaging, you can include fun icebreakers like group questions, two truths and a lie quizzes, polls, etc. This not only gamifies the presentation, but it includes your audience in the conversation.
What to expect from this class
Now that the class has a better understanding of who you are, it’s time to tell them what they can expect from you. This section should include the classroom schedule, classroom policies (like no-tolerance policies for harassment, bullying, cheating, etc.), the curriculum, class syllabus, and any big projects in the pipeline. Each student and their guardians should leave the back to school presentation with a strong understanding of what the next school year will entail, and how to stay on track for a successful year.
What we expect from you
Of course, as teachers, there’s a lot you expect from your class. You want them to show up eager and willing to learn. Here’s your chance to tell them. Depending on the age of your students, you may have to rely on the parents to help meet your expectations. This part of your back to school presentation should tell them— both the students and their families— exactly what you’re expecting from them. It can include attendance and behavior expectations, participation, volunteer hours from their folks, as well as quality of work and level of effort. Don’t leave anything up for misinterpretation here (you’ll kick yourself later if you do).
This section is self explanatory. What resources are available, and required, for the students and their families? This is where you can share a welcome packet, any classroom supplies, reading materials or book lists, a print out of formal processes and policies for parents to have on hand, or a class syllabus. Where applicable, you can link to the pdf file or webpage right within the slide so that your audience can access the materials on their own time and refer back to them as needed.
This section might be the most important part of the whole back to school presentation. How can your students contact you if they have questions about a project or grade? What about their parents should they have any concerns about their children? The contact slide should share your classroom phone number, the school’s office number in case of emergency, and your email address. Make sure that your new class feels comfortable reaching out to you for support, help, or clarification at any point during the course of the year.
After this slide, it's an appropriate time to open up the room for final questions. Everyone should leave back to school night feeling good about the upcoming school year, and on the same page.