Back-to-school night (open house) means it’s time to meet your students’ parents. This is your opportunity to make a great first impression and boy can it feel stressful and overwhelming! But don’t worry, Otus has your back. We’re going to cover a few ideas to connect with parents and show them you truly care about making this the best year yet for their student.
Before Open House
Planning is the key here. It’s easy to get caught up in conversations and before you know it parents are out the door. Ask yourself, what are 3-5 things you must cover because of their importance to the school year? It’s not a bad idea to provide a brief presentation so here are a few things specific to Otus that we recommend:
- Secure Texting and Email
- Otus App
During the first two weeks of school, get to know your students by giving them the Thrively Strengths Assessment. It measures 23 different strength factors and takes an inventory of your students’ career aspirations and extracurricular interests. The assessment is perfect for getting to know students and use during genius hour or passion projects. It also conveys to parents that educating the whole child and helping them reach their greatest potential an important focus on open house night. They can find their student’s assessment result under the “Learning Profile” tab.
This feature in Otus enables teachers to cultivate a classroom culture based on recognizing appropriate behaviors and sought after character traits. Teachers can capture positive instances like a student helping another student. They also have the ability to record negative accounts like off-task behavior. Recognitions also provide you an opportunity to record instances of social/emotional learning that you want to track. Explain to parents that students and Family members will be able to see the recognitions that you assign.
Secure Texting and Email Messaging to Students and Families
Strengthen your relationship with parents after back-to-school night. Send an email or text message to students and parents/guardians from within Otus while keeping your personal number, personal. You also have the ability to send to a message to an individual student or a group of students and Otus will keep a running log of these communications for future reference.
Whether you’re implementing a standards-based grading initiative or use a traditional points-based grading system, our phone app makes information about students available to parents at all times. The app includes information on assessments, standards, and recognitions.
The Class Board has two sections that are customizable. This is where you post general announcements, homework or projects that are due and it can even take the place of a classroom newsletter. The Classboard will help you stay on top of things by keeping a running list of communications that are sent to all students and families.
Do you have any favorite open house activities? How do you calm your nerves before meeting parents for the first time? We would love to hear from you! Tweet us at @Otusk12 and include the hashtag #LearningTogether to share your responses. Thanks!