I love getting to meet all of my parents before school starts, but I'm not going to lie, I get SO nervous talking in front of adults. Put me in front of kids all day long, but adults...no thank you! We have just the parents attend our Meet the Teacher night, because the students meet us during our school-wide Ice Cream Social night. This gives us time to talk to the parents about rules/procedures, without the kids getting antsy sitting through a meeting. I think being prepared, organized, and having things to keep parent busy until the meeting starts, helps make the night go smoother.
When parents walk into my room for Open House (Kindergarten does it before school starts), they find their child's seat and daily folder. In the picture below, you'll see my classroom handbook, hand print labels, and a money/notes label. These are all included in my editable Beginning of the Year bundle. My parents have commented on how much they love the money/notes pouch. They never have to worry about money or notes getting lost anymore. It is a bit pricey to buy a set of pencil pouches for an entire class each year, but I think it is well worth it!!
Depending on the time, they can start to look through the folder and fill out forms. I color code the forms that need to be returned to school. Doing this makes it much easier to sort the forms.
Once all the parents arrive, I go through a PowerPoint that shows our schedule, rules, attendance/dismissal procedures, etc. Having this PowerPoint helps me remember what I want to say and keeps me from rambling and getting scatter brained. :)
Another part of my open house, is to have parents sign up for their parent-teacher conference during my open house. I do this so that the parents have plenty of time to take off work. I have 3 dates for them to choose from & put all of them on one clipboard. I then have small reminder notes that they can fill out and take with them. We have students bring their own snack, but many of you have parents donate snack, so I created a snack sign-up form as well that I would put next to my conference sign-up.
I have bundled everything I do to help me get ready for my Open House night and the beginning of the year in my Beginning of the Year Bundle. It is editable, so you can edit the forms and powerpoint to meet your classroom's needs. Good luck this year!!!