Nothing can bring such a mix of emotions to a teacher as those words… well, except conferences, but that will be the subject of a later blog post… As a teacher, Open House is so important. You have a short amount of time to accomplish a number of goals, all while looking calm, confident, and put together. (Ha-ha… my favorite part. How in the world was I to make myself appear presentable when I had been teaching in a very warm room all day?!)
The main goal of Open House is to welcome parents to the school year. You want to build a relationship with each and every one of them because the success of any student comes when parents, teachers, and students work together and communicate effectively. Unfortunately, time is limited, and many parents are hoping to get a bit of your attention. The anxiety of a simple meet-and-greet turning into a full conference, complete with onlookers, is enough to make any teacher cringe.
During the evening, you need to go over classroom procedures, rules, and the curriculum. Text books are on display and the interactive white board is on, with all sorts of helpful information displayed in an eye-pleasing, yet professional way. That is if the computer is working like it should be. Because as anyone who has ever done a presentation before knows, technology always seems to take a break just when you need it to work the most.
To get started, you’ll find a SMART board presentation attached to this blog. If you don’t have a SMART board, a .pdf of the slides is also available for download. It is a good beginning for the rest of your slides. After the welcome page, there is parent information about the Simple Solutions books you are using. Please feel free to add slides; be sure to include the other books you are using this year. Not only is this an easy way for parents to get a quick overview of the curriculum, but the slides can be printed out or emailed to parents who were not able to attend. This is such an easy way to keep up communication with parents!
At the end of Open House, after the last parent leaves, you can finally sit down and smile, for your goals were accomplished. There is peace knowing you do not have to do this again until next year. Now get a good night’s sleep, you have to teach in the morning!