28 July 2014

Sneak-a-Peek, Meet the Teacher, Back to School Night, Open House...

My current district calls the time when students and parents come in to meet their new teacher "Sneak-a-Peek," but I know from experience that it's not called that everywhere...some call it Meet the Teacher, Back-to-School Night, Open House...whatever you call it...this post is dedicated to it!
Let's be honest for a second here...I have a love-hate relationship with sneak-a-peek. I love meeting my new students, seeing sweets from last year that stop by to say hello, and chatting with parents. However, there are invariably awkward moments when parents aren't sure what to do, I'm not sure what to do, and your new students are too scared to breathe, much less interact. Plus, put simply, I'm nervous.

My first few years teaching were filled with forms on desks, or in folders, and parents just sort of wandered around wondering what they should do. To remedy this, I decided to use more of a station approach to sneak-a-peek. This way, parents know exactly where to start, and what needs to be accomplished at each stop along the way before leaving. I like it because it eliminates awkwardness, which, I think I've decided is one of the worst feelings in the world.
So what happens at each station, how many stations, and so on? Keep reading friends! From this point forward, I'm just going to tell you exactly how it works in my classroom. But please don't think that this is exactly how it has to work in your classroom. I've made this fit the needs of my classroom, school, and what's important to me.
I always stand by the door to greet parents and students, and point them in the right direction for where to start. Parents start by signing in, and getting a folder with their child's name on it to collect papers as they move throughout the room. And yes, I put an example of what I want on the paper, because well...I'm not going to assume that everyone knows what to do.

Perhaps THE most important thing that happens during sneak-a-peek is finding out how my kiddos will get home on the first day of school, the first week of school, and thereafter. Each day of the first week requires telling me specifically how a student is getting home, because there are always exceptions to what normally happens during the rest of the school year. 

Also, any station that I have parents fill something out, that I want turned in, I place a tray. This way, I don't have parents trying to hand me papers, which I would probably lose.

The other stations really depend on your school, your classroom, and whatever else fits for the evening. I definitely don't try to squeeze in every little thing that I need to give my parents. I try to choose the things that are of top priority. Included in the product are the stations and documents I use exactly. The great thing, is that everything is totally editable. If you only want or need 5 stations - great! Only use five, and change the names and descriptions to suit your needs.
My favorite part of this method is using a checklist. As parents walk in the door I give them one. It's separated into what I need returned that evening, and what papers they should be taking home. It also reminds parents to check their child's take home folder for more information (website permission, picture permission, ABC's of Our Classroom). I don't want to overwhelm parents at sneak-a-peek. I really, really try to just keep it to the necessities.

So, are you ready to get everything together for YOUR (insert whatever you call sneak-a-peek) night? You can click here or on the picture below to grab yours!

For more great ideas, tips, and tricks from True Life I’m a Teacher, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Bloglovin’ and Teachers Pay Teachers.


  1. "this way I don't have parents trying to hand me parents" hehehe

  2. Just curious...what is your station 10 scrapbook paper for?


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