Saturday, August 17, 2013

How to Throw a Successful Parent Night/Meet & Greet/or Open House

Our school hosts a "Teacher Meet and Greet" the Thursday before school starts.  In fact, it was just this past Thursday!

We thought we would share some of our tips on hosting a successful open house...(this is our kindergarten team on Meet and Greet night)

  1. Be prepared.  Have all your paperwork organized (we put ours in a folder with a label explaining what to do with them).

  2. Labels are a MUST.  I know a lot of teachers wait to add table tags or name labels until school starts so you don't have to re-label if kiddos don't show up/move/or add.  In our opinion...this is a "no-no" especially at the beginning of the year.  The first thing students and parents want to see when they walk through the door is where they are sitting!  You WILL have to re-label and change...yes this is more work...however it's worth it to make those mommas and babies happy!
  3. Set the mood.  I always, always, always make a "greeting" table for my parent activities.  I use one of my smaller tables, covered with a piece of colorful fabric.  I add a little flowerpot that I got on clearance years ago.  This is where parents sign in, grab the info sheet, and nosh on some goodies. I also always have soft music playing in the background.
  4. Offer food.  I always have cookies for small snacks...I typically bake my own chocolate chip cookies, however this year I took the cheater route and bought some from my favorite bakery.  Nathan offered S'mores Poptarts that matched his camping theme.

  5. Have technology going somehow.  This year I just simply had a short message on my Smartboard.  You could also have a game for kiddos to play with on it.  Smartboards make the kiddos super excited to come to school.
  6. Mingle.  Try hard not to allow one parent more time than another.  This is a seems every year you will have one or two parents want to hone in on you and not let you go.  Offer for them to email you or call you later with further questions.  It's very important that you at least offer each family the same amount of time. 

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