Saturday, September 3, 2016

Open House 101

Open House always brings me a mixture of excitement and overwhelming fear. Yes I said it, I get scared when I have to talk to parents.

"But how can you be nervous about talking in front of people? You do it all day every day!"

This is usually the reaction I get when I bring this up, but children and parents are NOT THE SAME! Kids think you're the and don't notice if you make 1 (or 1,000) mistakes throughout the day. Parents on the other hand are judging you as soon as they pull in the parking lot, and can you blame them? You are the person who's going to be with their babies more than they will for the next 300 days. The person who's responsible for teaching them anything and everything they need to know to succeed in life and keeping them in one piece while doing it. That's a whole lot of pressure! Now you see why I'm a bundle of nerves this time of year. But fear not, I have some tips to make Open House a breeze.

1. Have two sign in sheets.

This cuts back on the line forming inside your class and lets you get onto your presentation sooner.

2. Have a presentation!

It's easy to get tongue tied, so having a PowerPoint of important information to go through always makes things easier. You can also print the slides out so late parents or no-shows don't miss anything. Don't know where to start? No worries. Here's a completely editable Open House Presentation that will leave those parents informed and impressed.

3. Student Activities!

Parents love to see things their children made for them, so be sure to have at least one on their desks waiting for them. This can be an activity from the first week of school, their all about me books, or an activity done just for this occasion. I like to have my students write their parents an open house letter. It's entertaining and a great way to practice writing throughout the week.

3. Donations!

This is the perfect opportunity to get some more supplies for your classroom without having to spend your whole first paycheck. Having a Donation Station gives parents the chance to choose what they want to contribute to the class while they're still in the back to school mode. Trust me, these extra supplies will come in handy later when you're out of pencils by Christmas!

4. Positivity First!

Children are a reflection of their parents, so when you start off a conversation with a negative like "Ben just can't seem to sit still." it doesn't usually sit well with the parents. Instead start with a positive! "Ben has such charisma in class. He's always there to help a friend and is great at math." Parents will be so tickled at this point that they'll be much more receptive when you tell them any issues you're having.

And just remember, it's only one day a year! In a few short hours it'll be over, so enjoy meeting the parents and showing off your classroom!

All of the resources mentioned above can be found in this Open House Super Bundle. Check it out! :)

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