7 Steps to Prepare For a Successful Open House

2 min


In a few weeks, the doors will open again and a new flood of students will come down the hallway, eager to meet their new teacher. There is an excitement and nervousness for the teachers, parents and students alike as new relationships form and open house is a great way to get things off to a positive start. Here are a few ways to make sure that first impression is a great one:

Prepare

Most parents come to open house to make sure their ducks are in a row. They’re going to want to know what their child needs for your class, a basic idea of what will be covered and how to get in touch with you when they need to. Prepare a slideshow ahead of time that can loop through these talking points. Another great idea is to set up stations to gather information (or for parents to give theirs) so that there is a flow of traffic through your room. Often parents come at the same time and you want to be able to keep things moving. 

Strategize

Do not stand right inside your classroom door. Parents will want to chat with you and when you clog up the entrance, you never get parents in your door to check out all of your hard work. Move into the room and let them come to you after they’ve looked at your stations or powerpoint. This will answer a lot of questions ahead of time so you’re not repeating yourself. 

Delegate

Be prepared to ask parents to follow up with an email or conference–now is not the time to address individual concerns. Make sure you know where other people are in the building who can address questions that don’t pertain to your classroom. Some big ones: special education, transportation, cafeteria fees and procedures, and PE fees and procedures. Being able to send parents to the right person for answers will free you up to focus on your own classroom.

Decorate

The week leading up to open house is often filled with meetings, professional development, and lesson planning. However, a huge part of making your students feel welcome is preparing your space to be inviting. Even if bright, color-coded displays aren’t your thing, hang a few posters. Make sure your name is prominently displayed on the door so they can be confident they’re in the right spot. 

Anticipate

For many, open house is a family affair. This means that there may be small children in tow. A coloring station or a few children’s books may help occupy them while parents gather the information they need. In the same vein, you may have parents who speak a foreign language. Preparing your materials in Spanish ahead of time may help them feel more comfortable. 

Accept Help

If you’re lucky, parents will ask how they can help you. Be prepared to take them up on this! Have a signup sheet for parent volunteers, a place where parents can find out what classroom supplies you need, and a place to collect supplies they bring on the night of Open House. Parents are often more eager and present at the start of the school year–so take advantage!

Relax

By this point, you’re probably going to be exhausted and stressed. Before the doors open for open house, take a few moments to mentally prepare for that first impression. Change into professional clothing, freshen up, and SMILE! You will need to interact with students and parents for the next 180 days so it is well worth it to have them on your side from the start. Be yourself and use this opportunity to get them excited for what’s to come!

7 Steps to Prepare For a Successful​l Open House

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JamieOKillian

Veteran Member

I am a Southern gal, mama to two kids (8 years and 6 months) and I have been teaching middle school for over 7 years. I love to go hiking or read a book in my free time. My favorite part of teaching is connecting with kids over things beyond just academics--teenagers are awesome!

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