Top ten tips to have a great night:
- Be Positive: you want to be upbeat, always smiling and excited to be there. If you’re not, it’s obvious.
- Greet the families at your door: shake their hand at the door and welcome them to your classroom.
- Have a sign-in sheet: This is a perfect spot to get parental contact information such as their name, phone number and e-mail address.
Leave a sign in sheet out on a clip board with a pen attached. As families enter the room, encourage them to fill it in. Its an easy way to record who was there that night. Many times, administration requires this and will want a photocopy of it. Be prepared.
- Give out handouts: These include course proficiency list and class rules, among any other important handouts you want to give them.
I use this back to school night flip book. I add all of my pertinent information for the families to take home with them.
- Provide “exit tickets” or Post-Its for the families to leave any questions, comments or concerns they may have: They might not want to ask questions out loud or just want to speed the night up so this provides a quicker, more private way to get their questions to you. Assure them you will address each and every exit ticket or post-it you receive.
- Create a OneSheet: These are like a snapshot of YOU: a little about you, how to get in contact with you, your teaching schedule, email address, phone number, etc...
- Make teacher-business cards: Like a normal business card: name, phone number, email address. Very convenient for families to hold on to for when they need to get in touch with you!
- Display student work on the walls: The families, and administrators love to see student work displayed. It shows the educational fun that happens everyday in your classroom!Dedicate some time before open house to decorate your room appropriate for grade level and subject area. Word walls are great. Shown here is a "word wall tree." The leaves are the words that are a part of English Language Arts grades 9-12.
- Interact with the families: Ask them questions! Don’t just lecture! That’s when they start to tune you out and not pay attention. Kind of like our students, right?
- Shake their hands and thank them for visiting you as they leave your classroom: Be sure to shake their hand and thank them. It is the polite thing to do and it will leave them with a great impression of you!