As August rolls around, excitement and nerves start washing over teachers worldwide.

There’s much to prepare in the run-up to the new school year. Lesson plans, supply runs, and classroom prep take over the final countdown to the new school year. We want to make a good first impression on our students. To make them feel comfortable and know we care about them and their education. But that’s not the only relationship we need to cultivate.

The relationship between parents/carers and teachers is essential to bringing positive outcomes to a child’s educational process. But we don’t get to talk in-depth with all our new parents during the open house. And you don’t want to leave it until an uncomfortable parent/teacher meeting before you reach out.

Whether you teach kindergarten, elementary, middle, or high school, a teacher introduction letter is the perfect way to bridge the gap between parents and the classroom, letting them be part of their child’s learning from day one.

This article will discuss what a teacher introduction letter is, why you need one, and how you can make yours incredible. Let’s get started!

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What is a teacher introduction letter?

Before writing teacher introduction letters, knowing what they are is important. After all, despite being a simple yet powerful teacher tool, they aren’t always taught in teacher training (and they certainly weren’t much of a thing a decade or two ago).

A teacher introduction letter is a letter from you, the teacher, to the parent or guardian of each of your students. The contents vary greatly depending on your style, the age group of your students, and your goals for your teacher-guardian relationship. It serves as an icebreaker for parents and guardians to let them know that you want to work collaboratively with them in the upcoming academic year to support their child inside the classroom and out.

It also serves the function of easing parental anxiety. It’s difficult for parents to relinquish the care of their child to a stranger – especially in the early years of education. Giving your students’ parents and carers a brief window into who you are and what you’re about doing a lot to help relieve some of that stress.

And finally, a teacher introduction letter is your medium to set the tone for the coming year. What you expect from guardians, what they should expect from you, and what they can expect from a relationship.

Deciding what to add to your teacher introduction letter

Before you worry about words, mediums, and design, you need to sit down and think about what you want to add to your letter. It might be tempting to throw the kitchen sink at it, writing everything you can think of – but you’ll overwhelm your future allies!

That said, you still want to add value and a lot of key information about yourself and the year ahead. Here are some ideas of what you might want to add, whether we think it’s essential or optional, and why you should add it. Use it as a buffet – pick what you want, add a tiny spoonful of a few extras, and dismiss the rest.

About me

Status: Essential

Whether it’s a couple of sentences or an entire paragraph, your students and their parents want to know who you are – and this is your chance to take center stage. Beyond your name and photo…who are you? That’s the question on everyone’s lips! You can share more or less about your private life, depending on your preferences.

You could share the following:

  • A little about your family (do you have a partner and kids?)
  • A funny story about your summer vacation
  • A list of your favorite things (color, food, season, tv shows, etc.)
  • A memory from when you were at school (especially if it’s a memory about entering the same grade you will be teaching)

It goes without saying, but keep any stories or memories PG. How you write about yourself is as important as what you write about yourself.

  • Are you a fun-loving, jokey person? Then throw a funny little quip in there.
  • Are you more straight-laced? That’s ok, too. Write in a way that feels true to you.

There’s no point in adopting a voice or writing style that doesn’t reflect yourself. When parents and carers meet you, they’ll have expectations based on what they read, and you wouldn’t want them to have the wrong impression of who you are.

You might also want to add some photos to back up your about me section (but we’ll touch on that later…).

My teacher credentials

Status: Optional (but highly recommended)

Most teachers add a little about their experience – almost like a resume – in their teacher introduction letter. This is because they want to put parents at ease – that they have the experience and know how to support their students throughout the school year. And if you’re a more experienced teacher, I recommend you do this, too. It’ll help to put your parents and carers at ease.

However, adding a teacher credential section might feel overwhelming or scary for newer teachers, especially those who have just graduated. There’s a dangerous parallel that if you are inexperienced, you’ll be less good at the job – and that’s not necessarily true.

If you’re a new teacher but don’t want to advertise that fact, there is a good way to sidestep it. Instead of focusing on listing your teaching credentials as if you were applying for your job, why not list a few highlights about teaching?

This could be:

  • Your favorite subject to teach
  • Something noteworthy you did during teacher training
  • A teaching principle that resonates with you

The moral of this section is parents and guardians find comfort in hearing a teacher is experienced, but we all start somewhere. If you don’t feel comfortable saying you’re a new teacher (even though new teachers bring exciting new ideas to the classroom!), you shouldn’t feel obliged.

My classroom principles

Status: Optional

You can split this section into two subsections: classroom rules and learning ethos. Classroom rules can be good for parents and guardians of younger students – they can practice and discuss them at home before the year begins. However, if you do decide to add this, keep it brief – most of this should be discussed between the teacher and students first.

The more beneficial element of classroom principles to add is your teaching ethos. A great way to set your classroom principles is to set a theme, goal, sentence, or word for the year. One that will connect the parents to the learning process. Finally, you can use this as a mini-FAQ for expectations for and of your parents and guardians to help ease them into the school year.

For example:

  • This year our theme is working together
  • This year our theme is empathy
  • This year our goal is to be kind to ourselves and everyone around us

Some teachers prefer to determine this aspect after they’ve met their students, though, so don’t feel pressured to come up with a theme or objective for the year for the sake of your teacher introduction letter.

Contact details

Status: Essential

Parents need to be able to contact you when they have a problem, so providing them with contact details is necessary. It’s up to you how many contact avenues you give – although some schools may have a policy about contact requirements – so do what feels right for you. At a minimum, you should be giving your work email and school phone number, but you may wish to add a few classroom portal links, too (with permission, of course.). Make sure you clearly state your availability alongside your contact details. Communication is essential for your students to thrive, but being contacted by a parent at midnight on a Saturday is not ok.

Designing your letter

We’re in a beautiful time where technology gives us many communication options. Sure, you could go the old-fashioned paper route, but you could also take your letter digital…or maybe even do both! The choice will be a mixture of personal preference and student demographics.

If you teach in an area where many parents and guardians don’t have access to computers or the internet at home, keep it analog. If your school has a strong environmentally friendly ethos, opt for a digital letter. Or, as I said before, opt for both, where no parent or guardian will miss vital information.

Once you’ve picked your medium, it’s time to put pen to paper (or keyboard to laptop…) Here are a few, teacher approved design tips for your teacher introduction letter:

  • Add lots of photos to keep it interesting … including a profile picture of yourself!
  • Keep paragraphs short – it helps readability and prevents important information from being missed
  • Add a QR code on your physical letter to either your teacher site, email version, or spoken version of the letter
  • Add headings to help guardians and parents skim read
  • Choose a simple font
  • Use bolds and italics for extra important information such as deadlines and names

While it’s tempting to make the most beautiful, artistic letter, or the most information-dense letter, in the case of teacher introduction letters, less is more. The main goal of your letter is to say hi and give parents the most important information. And too much sensory overload may result in your letter being left unread…or at least not read properly.

Some last-minute teacher introduction letter tips

If you’re still a bit nervous about writing your letter, here are some simple tips to round off your letter nicely:

  • Be enthusiastic about the year ahead
  • Sign off on a positive note, e.g., can’t wait to meet you!
  • This is your opportunity to break the ice, so be true to who you are
  • Personalize your letters by naming each parent individually
  • Assure parents that you want a collaborative relationship throughout the school year – that’s what they care about most

Your letter doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. It’s just an icebreaker before you meet. There’s no right or wrong way to do it as long as you’re being true to the teacher you are!