Today I had a brand-new experience as a professional educator: the school open house. With all of the work I have done in schools over the past few years, even during my student teaching, I have somehow managed to not attend any open houses. So, of course, I had no idea what to really expect. After all, the last open house I attended was the technology open house at my high school back in either 1999 or 2000, and that was considerably different from a grade school open house, especially since I was at my high school one as a volunteer in some capacity or another. All I really remember from that particular event was that my friend Josh had a cup of coffee with 14 packets of sugar and 5 creamers in it–he reportedly didn’t sleep for two days. Crazy.
Anyway, the open house at my school went very well. I had probably half of the parents in my class stop in and say hello, some even without their children. It was nice to meet many of them and receive reassurances that, if I ever had any problems or if I ever needed any help, I should definitely call them and let them know. I was able to have some very productive conversations with parents, as well, and got information that I will be able to use in early intervention. I also learned that it is definitely time to start pushing my students even harder than I have been, lest they fall into a malaise of boredom. Sometimes it can be hard to judge when the class is ready to move forward at a faster pace, and it is also hard to judge when it is time to start breaking into more differentiation. However, after processing the benchmark tests and grading a test, I think I have a fairly decent understanding of where each student is, so I am able to start working on having them push themselves to become more independent.
It was definitely a pleasant experience. I don’t know how often we are going to be doing open houses in our building, but I am sure that I will see many of the parents again, especially those who are willing to volunteer to work with students one-on-one or in small groups. As I told some of the parents tonight, I can never have too many adults in the room helping with my class, so I will gladly welcome anyone who is interested in volunteering!