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Have you ever wondered what information to include in your letter to parents at the beginning of the school year?
If so, you’re in luck! Today I’ll be sharing how to craft the perfect back-to-school letter. It doesn’t matter what grade you teach; this formula works for every art program. Communicating with families right away can have many positive benefits. Sharing information at the start of the year will allow for transparency and show you care about your art program and your students.
Sharing information about yourself is important when getting to know someone and is a key part of relationship building. Introducing yourself to families is essential. It will give them a better idea of what is important to you and to learn a few facts about you.
Here are a few things to consider sharing.
Don’t overdo this section, just share some key facts you feel are important. They have more to read so you don’t want to lose their attention.
Your philosophy answers the question, “Why do you teach?” and includes your personal mission in your art room. This is a great time to share your passion for your craft. It doesn’t have to be too lengthy. Keep it concise and powerful.
Art is an expressive, ever-changing, and beneficial subject to students’ academic success. Share a link to the art standards you will be using or touch on a few key standards on which you’ll focus for the year. This allows for a deeper look inside your classroom and shows your curriculum is guided by State and/or National standards. You can also throw in an overarching theme or objective for the year if you have one in this section.
Sharing your classroom expectations is a wonderful idea to set a strong honest foundation. If you create your classroom expectations with your students, share those as well. This section will be beneficial especially if you run into behavior issues with some of your students.
There are many roles volunteers can play. They can accompany you on field trips, be extra hands in the classroom, or share their professional expertise with students. Some people may be intimidated to ask or unsure of what you need. Make it known if you are open to having volunteers in the art room or need them for upcoming field trips you have scheduled.
Chances are, you have a finite budget. Making sure to share things you need for your art room is a great way to get additional resources. Who knows, someone may work for a company that has lots of unused fabric or paper. Recyclables could be collected by students and adults and sent to the art room as well.
As you prepare to send home your letter, make sure to think about your school population and the best way to share your information.
Of course, you could send a traditional paper letter with an intro, body, and conclusion. If you want to jazz it up a bit, add a creative heading or border or print it on school letterhead.
No matter which format you choose, you’ll want to consider the resources of the families at your school. If you know some of your students don’t have technology at home, then you wouldn’t want to send it only digitally. You could send a tangible printed copy home and the digital format to cover all your bases.
Back-to-school time is as exciting as it is busy. Starting the year with clear communication is a great way to establish a positive connection from day one.
What do you like to include in your back-to-school letter?
What would you add to this list?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors from across the nation and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University or any of its academic offerings.