Open House or Back-To-School Night can be a source of great stress for teachers who hate speaking in front of a group of adults. The following guidelines will help you feel calm and prepared so that you can let parents see the real you: a person who loves their kids and wants to help them succeed. You can also use your letter or a class handbook that you provide in advance as the basis for your presentation. The purpose of Open House or Back-to-School Night is to provide a time for parents to meet the teacher and review expectations. Open House is usually held in the early evening and lasts between 30 and 90 minutes, depending on the format that your school uses.
Welcome back to our returning families! Teachers give homework to extend the learning of the classroom. BTW, I am female and teaching 2nd grade at the time. Thanks for the info, super helpful. Kindergarten students will follow the calendar below for the school year. I sent mom a note telling her the same thing. It can be as simple as finding books at the local library to explore a topic deeper, playing a game of "Sorry" to help them practice their Parents mom forum first grade orientation skills, or reading with them daily.
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Open House or Back-To-School Night can be a source of great stress for teachers who hate speaking in front of a group of adults. The following guidelines will help you feel calm and prepared so that you can let parents see the real you: a person who loves their kids and wants to help them succeed.
You can also use your letter or a class handbook that you provide in advance as the basis for your presentation. The purpose of Open House or Back-to-School Night is to provide a time for parents to meet the teacher and review expectations. Open House is usually held in the early evening and lasts between 30 and 90 minutes, depending on the format that your school uses.
In some schools, the teacher will need to present for as long as 45 minutes; in others, the teachers are lucky to get 15 minutes. Ask your colleagues what Open House is normally like at your school. There are several components of the typical Open House.
Some schools have parents go to the cafeteria or auditorium first for a general welcome, then to individual classrooms. The younger the children you teach, the higher the priority parents will give to your classroom. However, because of the trickle-in effect, you will need productive activities for your families to do while they wait for you to begin. Talking with you will not be an option as you attend to a million other things that seem to pop up.
Open House is not always the best time to have parents fill out forms because they are often rushed and distracted. You can, however, have volunteer sign-up sheets for them and handouts to peruse. Some teachers like to offer a small bowl of candy or treats, as well.
Have extra chairs available for families to sit together. You may want to have all the children sit on the floor in the front or back of the room if space is limited. Your school will probably give you guidelines on the material they want you to cover. There is no one right way to do this, but I have found the following format effective:.
Some teachers show their family photos, which can be very endearing and encourages parents to view you as an approachable, real person. I like to tell why I chose the grade level I did and what I think is special about it. I spend just a minute or two telling them that their children will be choosing community outreach and charity projects to get involved with, doing a home and school fitness plan, and so on. Be sure to mention anything out of the ordinary that you plan to do specific field trips, etc.
Each time you mention a specific subject area, explain how it will be taught. For example, you might mention small group reading instruction, centers or centerjobs, integration of content areas such as using social studies to teach reading comprehension strategies, etc. Use photos of the kids working or actual materials as props to keep everyone focused. Do NOT get bogged down with state standards and outcomes—you can provide these in a handout and parents can read them later.
Let parents know that all of your instruction and assessment is aligned with state standards, and in plain English that means you design all of your lessons to meet state requirements in order to prepare students for the tests and for the next grade level.
Promise that there will be no surprises and that they will have an indication if their child may have difficulty passing long before the actual test date arrives. Make your expectations clear now so parents know what to expect! By Open House, this is usually done, anyway.
I tell them that after a grace period, which usually ends around October, I enforce the rules without exception in order to be fair and to teach the students responsibility and accountability. For example, one year I decided that all no-name papers would have one letter grade taken off beginning in November. When a parent called to complain once, I reminded her of the written notice and announcement of that policy at Open House.
End this portion on a positive note by explaining the reward systems and fun activities you have planned for the students Fun Friday, etc. If parents are welcome to volunteer in your classroom, briefly explain the procedures for this as well.
If you want them to sign up for volunteer opportunities or specific classroom tasks, tell them where the sign-up sheet will be and encourage them to add their names to the list after the presentation. Be sure to thank them for coming out and urge them to call, email, etc. One year, things were very calm and settled and I took questions and answered them in front of the group for about five minutes.
Another year, things were very hectic and I asked parents to either approach me individually with questions or write them down and I would call them the following day. With some groups, I can literally see how tired they are from working all day long and then rushing to the school and sitting through lengthy presentations, knowing they still have to get home and bathe the kids, do homework, get everyone ready for bed…and then get up again in a few hours for another work day!
Make it brief for those groups. Parents have no idea what to expect from a teacher their children have never had before. They want to know:. These things are communicated through the energy you put out and the environment you create in the classroom.
Listen attentively to parents and treat their questions and concerns seriously. Ideally, you should be able to connect with parents and make them feel valued and appreciated in the same way you treat your students as unique individuals.
I am so glad to meet you! He is such an awesome kid; he always has some fact to share with the class! Great to see you again! Brianna is the sweetest child; I can always count on her to help her friends and to be a peacemaker. Plan it out in advance for certain children if you need to.
Parents, like kids, need time to digest information and make it their own, and hands-on experiences are the best way to do that.
I hold a parent workshop each month, but I know teachers who hold only one a year or one a quarter. Start with whatever you are comfortable with and use parental feedback to determine what to do the following school year.
I hold a variety of festivities, some of which are just opportunities for families to socialize with one another and build a sense of community. After each event, there is an evaluation form for parents to fill out to help me revise for next year. Angela is a National Board Certified Teacher with 11 years experience in the classroom, plus over a decade of experience as an instructional coach.
As founder of Due Season Press and Educational Services, she has created printable curriculum resources , online courses , 5 books , the Truth for Teachers podcast , and the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. She's been supporting teachers through this website since Throughout the first week of school we practiced.
This taping is what I showed during parent open house. It was especially fun for the students because they kept it a secret from their parents so it would be a surprise on the night of Open House. I got a lot of positive responses from the parents about the creative idea. This was not only a great way for the students to practice fluency, but it also a different way to teach the classroom expectations and rules!
What a fabulous idea! Half the time, in my experience, kids show up to Open House, anyway, so they might as well get involved. Thank you for sharing! Your post is FULL of clever, fun ideas for open house. Thanks for sharing! Good ideas. Funny how we avoid the talk of all the Standardized Tests the politicians are forcing upon everyone involved. One of the reasons many parents and teachers are so upset about this. There is a big avoidance about this topic while millions are being sent out of our states to the testing big corporations.
Why are they also forcing students to take so many tests in High School or they are penalized for not doing so? Great Article. Thanks for the info, super helpful. Does anyone know where I can find a blank parent letter form to fill out? I feel like you are walking this journey with me :. Thank you so much for sharing all your amazing ideas.
Angela… you are simply the BEST!! Hi Angela, Your 8 presentation ideas were very helpful and kept my plan of back to school night right on track with the absolute essentials. Given the brief nature of the meeting with parents, these are necessary to have them excited about the class and know what to expect… Many thanks.
Thank you very much for writing this outstanding article. I am not a teacher, I am a parent that is grateful and thankful for all the awesome teachers. We did not get a chance to discuss anything about the curriculum because the discussion was based on how we should be parenting our kids. I hope that it works out for you! Angela Watson Angela is a National Board Certified Teacher with 11 years experience in the classroom, plus over a decade of experience as an instructional coach.
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PowerPoint Presentation: Reminders healthy snack birthdays Volunteers: room rep art print donations: saltines stickers. Lingman 4th - Ms. Download the Parent Orientation Agenda for an idea of how the day is structured. Premium member. Water bottles are encouraged to keep your little one hydrated! A limited number of fee waivers are available to cover the cost of the Parent Orientation registration fee.
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The last census indicated that there were about 67, children who are old enough to be going to school for the first time this week. Do you have tips for other parents ahead of the big day? Share them in the comments below. Please note that TheJournal. News images provided by Press Association and Photocall Ireland unless otherwise stated. Irish sport images provided by Inpho Photography unless otherwise stated. Wire service provided by Associated Press.
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You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. By TheJournal. Image: stephanski via Flickr. At home, practice eating out of a lunchbox and putting things in bin. Remind your child what should go in the bin, and what should be kept in their lunchbox and brought home.
If their lunchbox goes somewhere special in the classroom, put it there with them on the first morning. Make sure the teacher has at least two correct numbers to call you, in case something happens.
Practice helping your child take their coat off, hanging it up in a special place, and putting it on again. They do, and they will! If they are prone to wetting themselves, make sure you are aware of the school policy on changing clothes if the issue arises.
Show the child where the bathroom is on the first morning, and remind them to wash their hands. If your little one got a school diary, fill in all the details at the front, such as addresses and phone numbers. The teacher will have these details already, but it is good for other support services in the school to be able to get hold of such details at short notice. Label everything. And I mean, everything. If your child is allergic to anything, make a little card laminated, if possible and list those allergies.
The teacher can then stick this to the desk and inform their colleagues on yard duty, to ensure that everyone knows how to care for your child properly. If you can at all, please teach your child how to write their name. For the first few weeks, try to put your child in shoes that have Velcro clasps. Avoid laces, for obvious reasons.
Your first day should be spent concentrating on your little one, not on money. Revisit the payment on the second morning. If you have any trouble in making the payment just mention it to the teacher, if you feel comfortable doing so.
Make time for this in your own schedule and plan this with any childminders, etc. It seems obvious, but it is something that appears time and time again as a discreet issue. There are other Dads there — and they might appreciate the company! Easier said than done! Good luck to you and your kids! Short URL. About the author:.
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