Hacking Open House Night

Open House was such a chore, I decided to change it up and create a learning opportunity for parents.

Photo of Christine Boyer
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Open House was boring. I would run through curriculum for 45 minutes at rapid speed and parents would nod politely throughout my presentation.  At the end of the evening, I'd be exhausted and parents would leave confused. I couldn't bear another canned presentation.  So I decided to make a change and wrote the attached letter to the parents of my students.  

Emailing the presentation to parents allowed them ample time to review the curriculum and allowed me the freedom to plan for a more meaningful evening. I planned to talk about communication, expert lectures and creating community within our classroom. 

[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe something you learned from your empathy exercises or analogous research.

Every part of our school year can be hacked and by taking the risk to do so, relationships were forged and the importance of communication was the central focus of open house as opposed to a rote run through of curriculum.

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Join the conversation:

Photo of Clint Heitz

Christine - If you'd be willing, I would greatly appreciate your support for Guideposts to Success by heading to the post and leaving a positive evaluation, as well as suggestions to grow the idea even more! Thank you!

Photo of Lisa Yokana

Take a look at this google doc that Tom is building out... He needs input on student blogging and privacy. Haven't you dealt with that?

Photo of Sanny

Love this! Did you use this opportunity/extra time to educate parents about how school and teaching is different from when they were in school? And how the way it is done now, is to help our kids be happy and successful in their future? Asking, because I feel so much misunderstanding and negative feedback comes down to this different perspective.

Photo of Ashley Haskins

I absolutely love this. I love emailing the link to the presentation too avoiding repeating your presentation at a later parent meeting because it was too much info for them to digest in the brief Time at back to school night.

Photo of Molly McMahon

Christine... Scarsdale is taking over the Guild! Love it.  Thanks for sharing your resources for onboarding parents early into the open house. It's just great! I'm wondering if you could upload a photo to your post, because they more of the community will want to check it out.

 And, I really like this idea of how every part of the school year can be hacked. Would be interesting to hear from parents their insights from your mail, and perspective on on-going relationship. 

Photo of Lisa Yokana

YAY! Christine!! So you are really writing about how frustrated both you and parents felt because of that forced 45 minutes... Can't wait to see what you come up with in the ideate phase... and then how others can help you evolve your idea! So many cool possibilities! It would be cool to interview one of the parents from this years parent's night and see how they felt about the letter...
I knew this challenge would get you engaged!