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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

3 Tips for the Perfect Open House

Are you preparing for Open House?

Do you want to make Open House a success?

Do you want to keep Open House simple and low prep?

Follow these 3 tips and you will have a successful Open House that will make your students' parents feel comfortable and leave with a better understanding of how you are teaching their child. Open House should be thoughtful experience where parents gain a better understanding of what students are learning in your classroom and how they will continue to grow and progress this school year.

1. Hospitality

Parents should be greeted at the door with a handshake or hello. Make yourself visible. Hospitality is the key to success for Open House. Parents who feel acknowledged will know that you do the same for their children every day.

Remember that everything communicates to the parent. A smile at the door. Streaks on a window. A “yes first” mentality. Dirty Whiteboard. "Everything communicates a message to the guest", said a former hospitality industry employee.  You don't have to have a "Pinterest Perfect" classroom. Your priority should be hospitality and making your parents feel welcomed. 

Giving out mints to parents is a great hospitality gift. There is a FREE printout in the Open House Activities packet for you to attach to mints for parents. Thanking them for taking the time to make a commit-mint to their child's education. 

Click HERE to download. 
Making the smallest changes to your classroom hospitality will ensure a memorable experience for parents and students. Make Open House an evening event that is enjoyable and not another task to check off your list.

2. Student Work

Having student work displayed is a great way to showcase what the students have learned. Displaying student work doesn't have to be hard. You can display student work on a bulletin board, wall, cabinet, or any flat vertical space you have. Students take pride in their work and when it is displayed they feel accomplished.

Use bright colors and borders to attract students and parents towards their work. Giving a dedicated space to student work is important. Make it an attractive and respected space to highlight students' best work. Math Goals is a bulletin board that is easy to print and display in any classroom. Students who do not have a growth mindset will be encouraged when their work is displayed in a subject that is difficult for them. Encourage students early in the year and watch them attain big goals.

                        Click HERE to download. 

Making a space for student work doesn't have to be tedious or time consuming. I often display work on a wall, rather than a bulletin board because of space. If student work is a priority, your students will appreciate their teacher taking the time to display their hard work and effort.

3. Academic Plan

Tell parents about their students' academic plan for the year. Provide a simple handout for parents to read an overview of their child's school year. Keep it simple and to the basics. What are we learning? When are we testing? When is the field trip? Parents will appreciate the basics of what is going on in your classroom. 

An Open House Trifold Flyer is a great way to display and give parents all the information in one handout. It is intended to help you share everything about your classroom with your parents and students at Open House.

Click HERE to download. 

Also sharing at open house about volunteer opportunities can help provide supplies for your classroom. Asking parents for donations helps their children and the classroom be successful for the year. Parents want the best for their children and letting them know at Open House how they can help makes them take ownership in their child's education. 

Follow these tips and you will have a perfect open house! Remember to be engaging and have fun getting to see your students with their parents.

Happy Teaching!