It’s that time of year again: the time when parents of independent school students everywhere head into the classroom for Back to School Night. Ostensibly, the purpose of this ritual is for parents to gain some insight into the academic life of the student: to learn about class schedules and curriculum; to understand course requirements as well as grading distributions; and perhaps even to read a syllabus or two.
Dutiful parents clear calendars and hire babysitters, so that they can spend an evening shuffling down corridors and into classrooms gathering handouts and collecting information. But for most parents, the important takeaway from Back to School Night is not what’s written on the Smart Board or included in the welcome folder. Instead, Back to School Night represents an opportunity for parents to get a feel for a teacher’s personality and educational philosophy. By far, the most consequential aspect of Back to School Night is that parents will formulate lasting impressions about the quality and caliber of their children’s teachers based upon these initial interactions.
In a nutshell, independent school parents want teachers who are as enthusiastic about their students’ potential as they are about the subject they teach. Back to School Night is the perfect opportunity for teachers to demonstrate both.
Interested in reading more? Here is another interesting article on this topic from Edutopia.