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George Pawlas's
PR for PRincipals...

Make Sure the
Open House Experience
Is a Good One


Making a good first impression should be the goal of every teacher. So no matter how your school organizes its open house, there is one sure way to succeed in making a great first impression: plan the event from a parent's point of view.

So, what do parents expect of an open house?

  • Parents expect to be greeted at the door with a friendly "welcome" from the teacher.
  • Name tags and markers help speed up introductions and enable all in attendance to get to know one another.
  • Parents expect the classroom to be clean and orderly; that will signal that their child is learning in a quality environment.
  • Parents will be interested in seeing an example or two of their children's work. One year the fifth-grade teachers in one of my schools had students prepare life-sized paper cutouts of themselves. As those cutouts sat at their desks, they were "dressed" in clothes the parents should recognize -- and most did.
  • Parents will want to see a display of textbooks and other materials that are being used in the classroom.
  • Signup sheets should be available so parents can schedule a one-on-one conference with the teacher; other signup sheets might be available for parents who will be willing to go along on field trips or assist in other ways.
  • If allowed, involve the students in the open house. They can answer questions, show how computers are used, and be available to provide other assistance.

Read more practical tips from George Pawlas

Pawlas on PR
See our archive of 41 more articles like this one.

More Articles by George Pawlas
Explore this series of nine articles by George Pawlas:
  • Share the Pride: Six "Pride Statements" Get Year Off to a Great Start
  • Getting the Most Out of Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Newsletters: An Essential Tool for Every Principal
  • Building Positive Relationships With the Media
  • The Benefits of Being an MBWA Principal
  • More Tips for Great Newsletters
  • 50 Million Students Can't Be Wrong: Improving Perceptions of Your School
  • Support Personnel Are P.R. People Too
  • Create a School Profile Brochure
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