Usually, during the first month or so of the school year, elementary schools schedule an open house or “meet the teachers” night. This is a very important event, and all parents should participate, if at all possible.
It’s important because you will get to meet your child’s teacher, who will be a very influential person in your child’s life during this year. The teacher should provide you with an outline of the upcoming school year. You will learn what is expected of your child, and what is expected of you, to ensure success in the months ahead. You should be given examples of elementary grade-level “expectations.” These are educational fundamentals your child must master during the year ahead to be fully prepared to move on to the next grade level.
An open house should also provide other essential basic educational information. If this is not part of the general opening presentation, don’t be afraid to ask about the following matters. Good teachers always allow time to answer questions you may have, such as:
- How often should I meet with you during the school year?
- What is the homework policy for this grade?
- If we need to communicate, do you prefer email, written notes, or phone calls?
- What extra resources are available in this school if my child falls behind?
- What resources are available if my child advances well beyond his or her classmates?
- What is the most important thing we can do at home to make sure this school year is successful?
Don’t confuse an open house with a private parent conference. At an open house, teachers will not have time to discuss on your child’s specific issues. A separate private meeting should be scheduled if your child needs special attention early in the school year.
An early school year open house can be an enjoyable and enlightening experience for parents. Since everyone wants the best for your child, this event is an important way to start the school year.