For those that just started school, the infamous back-to-school open house nights have or soon will be arriving. When I was teaching, I remember being nervous for the first few years, with “what can I possibly cover in such little time” always being the top concern. I’ve had classes where we meet for 15 minutes, I’ve had seven minutes, and I even once had a free-for-all where parents can just walk up and ask questions.
Whatever your format may be, and whomever you may be, here are some tips for your grand performance that evening:
1. Keep it simple! Many parents have spent the day working and want just the facts. Over the years, I have seen administrators and teachers ramble on and on about issues that are not relevant (myself included).
2. Give a shout-out to the PTA! The PTA is the backbone to every school, and whether you see it or not, they are helping you achieve your goals every step of the way. This is the biggest event of the year for the PTA in terms of membership. They deserve a plug.
3. Provide a hand-out. While we are all trying adamantly to ‘go-green’, giving a slip of paper with your contact information and a link to your website or school’s website is beneficial. Wanna get really snazzy? Generate a QR Code with a link to your website and post it on your door for parents to scan out! You can learn how to make one here: http://www.qrstuff.com
4. Project your voice. Whether it’s your classroom or the auditorium, your voice needs to be heard. It can easily be drowned out from late entries, the fan, or the PA system.
5. Smile. All eyes are on you. You represent your school, and you are proud of it. Show everyone that you love what you do. It can help break any tension and awkwardness along with showing everyone that you are not that ‘meanie’ that the kids described you as 🙂