I would like to share with you some suggestions for designing Open House/Back to School Night.
- Consider sending student made invitations to parents.
- Plan your presentation and what you will be saying to parents beforehand. Be sure you share something about yourself (where you grew up, your education, your family, your educational philosophy) as well as some of your goals for the year. (Make it brief)
- Dress professionally. I can't stress this enough.
- Prepare your room. Hang a “Welcome” sign outside the door, and be sure your name and the room number are prominently displayed. Have a sign-in sheet for parents as well as a handout listing the activities and presentations for the evening. Freshen up your bulletin boards, and display a daily schedule. Set out sample textbooks, and be sure all desks and tables are clean. Be sure each child's desk has a folder with samples of the student's work. Post additional student work (be sure to have at least three samples for each student) on bulletin boards. Post photographs of students and activities throughout the room.
- Greet each parent at the door with a handshake and a smile. Be sure every parent has a name tag (remember that the last name of a student and the last name of her or his parents may be different.
Possible topics to cover:
Elementary: daily schedule, homework, grading, classroom rules, units of study.
Middle/High School: discipline policy, homework, grading, field trips, extracurricular activities
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