The thought of open house brings upon a small twitch and immediately triggers memories of the busy first few weeks of school, long days, and an even longer night. Open house in middle school can take on different forms and fashions- whether that be before school begins, a few weeks in, later in the spring, and whether parents follow their students schedules or not. Today, I want to share four tips for a smooth open house.
4 Tips for a Smooth Open House
1. COLLECT PARENT INFO
While you could have sign-in sheets, a Google Form that parents could access using their phone or iPad will get parents’ information much faster and will prevent lines. Need a template, click here for ours. You could easily create a short link to the form and include it in your presentation or on each table. Feel free to edit our template to suit your needs.
2. communicate your expectations
Take the time to share the expectations you have for your students, as well as how parents can support. This helps both of you to be on the same page as the year begins. Share what role you would like your students to play. Obviously, this is said in a kind respectful way.
Here are some questions that parents like to have answered:
- Will students have homework? How much? How often? Should parents help with the homework?
- What if a student is struggling? Do you have tutorials?
- What do you expect from students both academically and behaviorally?
- How do you want them to contact you?
- How can they access their child’s grades? How often do you update grades?
- Can students retake/correct assessments?
- How will parents know if their child is successful?
3. GET YOUR INFO TO PARENTS
On the Google Forms template we provided, we have a place for parents to scan a QR code that will load your contact information into their contacts. I found that you can enter your contact information in this Google Sheet, and it will generate a QR code. If you just use a screen grab, you can upload the QR code into the Google Form. You can also just post your contact information on the white board or hand out cards.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Whether it be asking for parent volunteers or asking for additional supplies. Don’t be afraid to ask parents for help. Many parents loose a bit of contact with their child’s school when they move to the middle school. They feel like there isn’t a place for them, or its not as easy to help. Keep in mind that parents now have six or more teachers to keep up with. There are so many cute ideas for asking for supplies or help! I have seen teachers create something similar to an angel tree with tags and various supplies. You can display it however you like, just be sure to bring attention to it, so that parents can help!
Obviously, there are some other tips like dress professionally and post student work. You got this! What do you like to do for Open House?