If you’re reading this you are likely at home trying to wrap your brain around distance learning, or a socially distanced classroom. With that being said, YOU can do this. Teachers are the most capable, and most adaptable people I know. A great way to kick off a school year met with many limitations, is, in my opinion, the same way to begin a traditional school year. That being with an Open House, and an opportunity to Meet the Teacher. We just need to make a few digital tweaks.
Benefits of hosting an Open House or Meet the Teacher (Virtual or Traditional)
- First Impressions are EVERYTHING. Better to make an impression where you have control over what is being impressed.
- Create a connection, and set the foundation with both families, guardians, and students
- A sense of familiarity is created that decreases anxiety, anticipation, and worry for your students
- The year begins with a strong communication tie and expectations set
- You are able to communicate key information crucial to your classroom clearly and effectively
- Collect important information and forms necessary to your classroom
- Introduce tech and other platforms you will be using throughout the year, allows for time to set up, log in, register or install.
- Would LOVE to hear the benefits you see to hosting an Open House or Meet the Teacher, COMMENT BELOW!
Tips for an Effective and Successful Open House or Meet the Teacher (Virtual or Traditional)
- Organization & Simplicity is key. Do not throw everything you have and expect and hope something sticks. My welcome packet used to include 6 pages of 11 point font, single-spaced lines, nuggets of gold. Literally, anything you wanted to know, or would ever want to know was included in the packet. Apparently, no one wanted to know about it though… Condense your information. I’ve found it best if I can fit everything they need on a double-sided, fun to look at Graphic Organizer. ***See my examples below.
- Time is precious when deciding what stations to use at a traditional open house, or what slides to include on a virtual open house, minimize fluff.
- Appearance is CRUCIAL. As mentioned, first impressions are EVERYTHING, and whether we like it or not, that first impression on a parent, guardian, or student, will play a powerful role in the coming school year. Just like if you are setting up for a traditional open house where you want everything to appear neat, tidy, and professional…The same goes for a virtual open house. A well thought, well organized, fun to look at, and interact with virtual open house will speak volumes for your first impression. Remember, there is power in being able to control what is put out for others to make a first impression on.
- Interaction Creates Connection. Again, this goes for both a traditional Open House | Meet the Teacher, as well as a virtual one. No matter what type, interaction of some sort will be an indicator of success. Many of you are all too familiar with the limitations for connection that any digital format can bring, that is why you need to be especially intentional with your virtual Open House.
- In the slides I’ve prepared I’ve tried to create moments of connection. Details like a picture, or even better an animated GIF, (Tutorial included and SO SO SIMPLE, if you can navigate google slides, you can create a GIF, pinky promise) as well as a place to insert a short introduction video. There is a warmth that is added when you add video or GIF that goes beyond what only a picture can do.
- I’ve also included a fun slide that has a digital dice embedded that allows the student to roll the dice and respond to a prompt based on the number they roll. This type of interaction and response is another way to create connection.
- If that weren’t enough in the slides I’ve created I also encourage (completely editable) for you to use this time to have families schedule their first Zoom Call with you (At a later time and for a brief 3-5 minutes) This will give you the ability to say a quick hello, answer any questions in regards to the open house,
Be aware, when planning your virtual open house, just because you find a digital resource meant for an Open House, or Meet the Teacher doesn’t mean that digital product was intended to be used in a VIRTUAL Open House setting. Most of these digital resources are created to give you the freedom to customize and edit text, but still intended to be printed off and used in the traditional Open House Setting.
For example, the product to the right is DIGITAL, however, it was never intended to be used as a Virtual Open House. There may be some slides you can utilize, but this product is better used in the classroom, printed out, as a traditional classroom Open House or Meet the Teacher.
The following Open House | Meet the Teacher Resource was created and intended to be used as a VIRTUAL Open House or Meet the Teacher. This means that you can utilize every slide in a virtual manner. This also means that not every slide was intended to be printed off and handed out. (***Pages are set up & compatible with a printer, Slides such as the Meet the Teacher, and Classroom Information work great as a hard copy and can be used for years to come.)
There really are benefits to having a Virtual Open House| Meet the Teacher resource on hand. Obviously, it is important to have a way to meet, connect, and inform this information when distance learning or social distancing is in place, but there is also real value in having this information ready and available to send out to families that have a schedule conflict or can’t attend your traditional Open House | Meet the Teacher. This is also a great and EASY way to welcome any new students or families that may come at any point in the school year.
My Open House | Meet the Teacher Presentations were created specifically for the virtual learning classroom. These are perfect for back to school, especially if you are looking to send out a digital meet the teacher or invite your students and families to a virtual open house.
If your school is hosting a virtual open house, these products include everything you need to get to know your students better, to connect, and allow your students to get to know you (Meet the Teacher,) as well as gather and supply critical information despite the distance learning limitations.
Each of my Virtual Open House products include over 20 different editable template slides and layouts. The product highlighted in the animations also allows you to completely edit and customize the colors. Any color (Shades of teal) you see on any of these slides can be completely customized through google slides to match your favorite colors, your classroom’s theme, or even your school colors!
Each Virtual Open House Product also includes links to my favorite (FREE) Parent Survey & Student Learning surveys editable through Google Forms that can be linked within this presentation. Once you begin gathering information and forms digitally as opposed to hard copies…I promise you will never go back. Even When I do a traditional Open House, I prefer to gather information digitally.
Another page that is a lot of FUN, that is included in all of the Virtual Open House | Meet the Teacher Kits is the Roll and Respond page. I am SO excited about this one and can’t wait for you to send this interactive page to your families. This slide allows the students to roll a dice embedded within the slide, then answer a prompt based on what number was rolled. The questions I’ve included (Completely Editable Text) are centered around you and forming a connection with your student. I like these types of questions because not only do they help establish connection, but they also hold the students accountable to actually reading through the Meet the Teacher slide. Something that is tough to ensure during a Virtual Meet the Teacher!
Students and Guardians will simply work through the slides you send, similar to working through stations at a traditional open house. They will also have the opportunity to learn more about you, give their contact information, share a bit about their child, sign up for volunteering opportunities, as well as be able to learn all about your class policies and procedures, technology…etc!
If you are wanting to send out a digital or hard copy invitation with the date of your Virtual Open House, or Meet the Teacher, keep reading, I’ve included 3 editable Open House | Meet the Teacher invitation templates as a FREEBIE on this post! In order to access the download, you must be logged in. Not a member? Not a problem! Sign-up is FAST, FREE and Easy-Peasy Lemon Squeezy! Click here to become a member!
Each Virtual Open House Kit Includes the Following Templates:
- Overview of Slides
- Brief Hello (Insert Introduction Video | Tutorial Included) *2 editable Layouts
- Meet the Teacher (Insert picture or animated GIF | Tutorial Included) *4 editable layouts
- Classroom Information Sheet *2 editable layouts
- Virtual Classroom Tour (Insert brief tour video | Tutorial Included) *2 editable Layouts
- Classroom Donations Slide
- Classroom Adaptations for COVID Slide
- Tech we will be using Slide (Included: Completed slides for Zoom & Google Classroom)
- Schedule at a glance Slide
- Roll & Respond Interactive Dice Slide Game
- Parent & Student Survey Slide (Includes link to my FREE | Editable Google Forms for Parents & Students)
- Final Checklist Slide
- Also included
- Links to FREE & Editable Open House|Meet the Teacher Digital or printable invitations
- Blank and Buildable Slides
- Video & Gif Tutorials
- Also included
Virtual Open House | Meet the Teacher Kits Available:
- Free Editable Open House Invitations
- Free Parent Survey Google Form
- Free Student Survey Google Form
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