Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Open House

I don't know if most non-teachers have any idea how much we teachers dislike Open House. I've already been to work once today, do you really think I want to go back this evening and shmooze?

I like getting out of school early today. Gives me time to come home, get some things done around the house, go get gas before the afternoon traffic kicks in, things like that. I'll make a nice dinner for my son and me, too.

And then I get to get all gussied up and go back to work. Grrrrr.


Ellen K said...

The sad thing is that teachers usually stay after school straightening up the room, making current work is on display, preparing a syllabus and contact info for parents to take home and NOBODY SHOWS UP. We have two of these lovely sessions,one in the Fall and one in the Spring term. I can count on two hands the number of parents that showed up. What is worse, we will have a senior awards show in May that the PTSA will use as a captive audience for their elections. This will drive the show into three to four hours. Teachers get to sit on the stage while parents shift in and out as their kids get their awards. I think if they really wanted to make an impact, these awards would be during the day where the student body would see who was achieving success.

Steve USMA '85 said...

You don't have any idea how much my wife and I loved the Open House. During our three children's traverse of the school system, we never missed a single Open House.

It was our chance to put a face to the name of the teacher. We learned that teacher's expectations, policies, and views on homework. This was very valuable when it came to a child saying "I have no homework tonight" versus the teacher saying at Open House "There will be homework every night."

Connie and I knew that it was an imposition on the teacher's time, so we always made sure the teachers knew we appreciated this evening and their participation. I have to admit, I was always a bit miffed when a teacher was absent from this event. Didn't happen often, but it did happen occasionally.

Darren said...

What you're describing sounds like our Back To School Night in early September.

One thing about Open House--only the parents of the "good" kids show up. And almost none of the senior parents show up. That means I get to talk to parents of students in high-level classes (parents of kids in low-level classes don't show), students who are usually doing well in class. So all night I only need to say nice things, and sometimes even get a few compliments back.

Turns out I dislike the *idea* of having to go back to work for Open House more than I dislike actually participating in Open House.

mmazenko said...

We have a great Back-to-School night. In fact, it's sometimes called the social event of the season. The parents walk through their kid's schedule, and teachers do ten minute presentations of their classes. There are no conferences - though conversations in the call often end with a "call me and we'll chat about the class." Sure, it's a long day. But I find it really energizing, and it often takes a while to wind down when I get home. Fortunately, it's always on a Thursday. But I really appreciate the turnout and support of our community. It's a key indicator of the strength of our school.

Steve USMA '85 said...

The "good" kids are "good" in part because they have parents who participate in their education by coming to things like Open House and/or Back to School Night.

BTW, What we have is what Mazenko describes.

W.R. Chandler said...

Back to School Night, I get. Open House, I have always despised.

Steve USMA '85 said...

OK, now can someone explain what the difference is between Open House & Back to School? Obviously not the same thing the way you all talk.

Darren said...

Back To School Night is at the beginning of the year. Parents go through their students' schedules for 15 minute "classes" wherein they meet the teachers and learn about what to expect from the teachers and the classes.

Open House is in the spring and is a dog-and-pony show more geared towards elementary schools and high school electives. What pretty projects do I as a math teacher have to show off? Ans: none.

Steve USMA '85 said...

OK, now I understand. We didn't have an Open House. We did the Back to School Night where we meet all the kid's teachers. Personally I feel BtSN is indispensable. OH not so much.