“Oh professional development. How I love you.” What educator has not thought those words while sitting in a chilly conference room being read verbatim what a hand out says for eight hours. My feelings for a given PD day were affirmed while reading a colleague’s post, “Teach Me Seymour“. I try not to be rude during PD and I try to stay focused, but some times my mind drifts. Some people around me felt bad for our presenter, but after thinking about it I word-vomited-out, “I don’t. She was once an educator, and she knows what it takes to make a good lesson!”
We should teach others the way we want to be taught. Ipads, SMART boards, power points, manipulatives, games; there are so many ways to “skin a cat”, so why make it so dull. This made me think about adult learners and our upcoming Meet The Teacher and Open House nights. Do parents really want to sit in a child size seat while I read from slides or do they want to be engaged? During one training for our district two years ago, the presenter threw out an idea that I caught and have yet let go of since. Teach your parents the way you teach your students.
Well, the way I teach has changed drastically over the past two years, so the way I teach at Open House has to be different. My rough draft plan of action is as follows for this momentous night:
1) 20 MINUTES Intro and roll through movie clip presentation. While parents watch they will fill out a “Thought Form” This form will come in handy later when I meet one on one with parents. (Unfortunately, I could not upload the entire video, but I have linked some of the videos I am grabbing clips from below)
2) 15 MINUTES : This will consist of 3 set stations in which parents travel around the classroom (let’s not get crazy and have 4)
Station One: Parents will review my old slideshow that I used to use during Open House and grab a hand out so they receive all of the necessary expectations for 4th grade.
Station Two: Parent Discovery: Parents will be able to open and work with iBooks we will use during our Social Studies units AND review past work from students in 4-1. They will also be introduced to our wiki page. (I will have a past student working at this station)
Station Three: The Parents will sit down in a small group and be able to talk with me about their concerns or questions
3) 5 MINUTES Finally, we will end with a wrap up in which I will ensure parents know the necessary expectations for making it through 4th grade, and I will address any last minute questions.
So I ask, How do you want to be taught when you need to go to PD? How do you think your parents would like to learn? Can your transform your Open House to reflect what you do during a school day? I am excited for my upcoming students and Open House, and I know my parents will be more engaged than ever!
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