When you want to send a letter of introduction to parents, start composing it several weeks before the start of the school year, so that you'll have time to edit it, mail it, and get it to parents well before the school year begins. This will help you get a good jump on communicating with your students and families -- which can benefit you throughout the year.
Why Do It
Teacher introduction letters serve several important purposes. First and foremost, they establish open communication between you and the students' families. Your letter should include sections that help you:
- Break the ice with students and families - Demonstrate your expertise in your subject area - Answer questions families may have about your background - Provide contact information for families to use throughout the year
A Little About Yourself
Start off your introduction letter with a warm greeting, such as "I want to welcome you and your student to my class." Then use the remainder of the first paragraph to talk a little about yourself. You might discuss how many years you've been teaching, where you studied, and why you enjoy teaching. Since families will likely be curious about your personal life, you might also share some basic details, such as mentioning that you have children of your own or sharing that you've just gotten engaged. If you've had any other experiences that will add to your students' experience, add that too. If you're a Spanish teacher, for example, you might mention that you lived and worked in Central America for several years.
Discuss Your Goals
In the second paragraph, talk a little about the goals you have for the school year. You might talk about the curriculum you'll cover or the skills you expect students to have by the end of the school year. If you use specific behavioral models or classroom control models, such as awarding positive points, for example, you might also mention what those are. It's also OK to briefly lay out what you expect in terms of student behavior, but keep the tone positive.
How Parents Can Contact You
At the end of the letter, provide your full contact information, including your telephone number at the school and your school email address. Mention when parents can contact you, and whether you have any open office hours when parents can visit or when students can get extra help, or mention when you'll be at school before the year begins so parents can come in and meet you.
If you plan to allow parent volunteers in the classroom, also mention your ideas for ways parents can help, and the dates they'll be able to be in the classroom. It's also helpful to ask parents to write you a reply letter, introducing themselves and discussing their children. Then sign the letter cordially.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.