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Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

5 Questions To Ask the Teacher at Open House

As your elementary-age child settles into the new year, schools typically schedule an open house or “meet the teacher” night. This is an important event to attend, if your schedule allows.

It’s important because it will provide you with an overview of the year to come and what is expected of your child. It’s usually your first opportunity to spend a little quality time with your child’s teacher and to clearly understand the grade-level expectations. Attending this event can help ensure a good academic start for your child.

Here are five important questions that you can expect to be addressed and answered by your child’s teacher:

  • How should we communicate?  (for example, email, phone, or notes)
  • How often will we be meeting during the school year?
  • If I don’t hear from you, should I assume that everything is fine?
  • What is the homework policy for this grade, and how much time should be devoted to homework each night?
  • What can we do at home to ensure a successful school year?

Most teachers prepare a short presentation and overview of the school day to share at an open house. The presentation is usually followed by time for questions. This would be the time to raise any of the above questions that have not been addressed.

Open houses are not parent conferences, however. Questions that pertain to your son or daughter should wait for an individual meeting. But teachers are more than happy to answer general questions to help all students get off to a good start.

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