Back-to-School Night can be a stressful experience for teachers and parents alike. There’s a lot of material to cover in a short amount of time, and you want to be sure you get to it all. Parents often feel rushed, having come after work and a hurried dinner, often with younger sibs in tow.
Advanced preparation is the key to a smooth back-to-school presentation, and handouts are a great way to go in depth on the subjects you touch on. But what should you tell your parents? Here’s our guide to the top five things you should include in your open house presentation.
1. Brief introduction to yourself
Parents don’t need your life’s story, but they do want to know a little bit about you since you’re spending virtually every weekday with their child. Your name, where you went to college, and how many years you’ve been teaching compiles the basic information. You can tell more about yourself as well as communicate your teaching philosophy in a written bio that’s a page or less.
2. Review of the curriculum you’re teaching
Talk about the main subjects you’ll be covering, such as reading, math, social studies, and/or science, and what the learning goals are for the students. Consider creating a PowerPoint presentation with an accompanying handout to highlight the main points.
3. Typical classroom schedule
Discuss the daily schedule. Include recess, lunch, and special areas like music, art, physical education, computer lab, and other times when students will be out of the classroom. Describe how you will manage disruptive behavior.
4. Homework, grading, and assessments
Parents want to know how much homework will be assigned on a typical day and if there are upcoming projects they should know about. Discuss the grading scale, penalties for late or missing assignments, and any opportunities for extra credit. Talk about classroom quizzes and tests and if the students will be participating in standardized assessments. Handouts will help reinforce this message.
5. Other information
Be sure to mention about any field trips you’ve planned and if parents will be needed to chaperone. For younger students, let parents know if you participate in the Scholastic Reading Club, offer daily snacks, or need helpers in the classroom. Finally, be sure to include your contact information, and how you’ll regularly communicate with parents.
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