- Read all email regarding the event before hand. Know when the open house begins and when you are allowed to go home.
- Do not start lesson planning in the hour before the event, get distracted by the free pizza spread, and spend the next 50 minutes with your teammates descending into a discussion about specific discipline issues.
- Talk to colleagues and ascertain who is making the presentation. Do this before it is too late and it has to be you or else.
- If the person who is making the presentation turns out to be you, think of some way colleagues can help besides making the thumbs-up sign, although that is definitely appreciated.
- Make sure that the projector works.
- Remember to take chairs off desks so parents will have somewhere to sit. Next time do this with more than a half minute to spare, as you can hear the parents walking down the hall.
- Make sure all the parents sign in. At the very least, make sure most of them sign in.
- If anyone you know comes and does not sign in sign in for them.
- Be prepared for parents who want to see the gradebook. Do not project the gradebook on the movie screen if other parents are in the room.
Okay, so after the open house I felt like a teacher version of Bridgit Jones. It didn’t work perfectly but what did I expect? Like the indefatigable Bridget, I was guilty of
- Trying to do too much. I won’t list it all here, but believe me, I have about 3 times too many responsibilities.
- Hopelessly unrealistic bouts of optimism about what could be accomplished in ten minutes before an event.
- A nearly catastrophic devotion to something I call “Just in Time” time management, which means, never doing anything until the last minute, in the hope that some responsibilities or tasks will be superseded by others or cancelled. Usually works like a charm, but this time, none of the cancellations came through.
That said, in the end, the truth is everything worked out. The parents were happy, my teammates enjoyed some extra planning time while I handled the presentation, I got the projector back on line after only one or two minutes, I caught myself before I projected the grades on the screen, and the chairs, most of them anyway, were down when people arrived.
Next year, I’ll read my notes to self list, and do just as well, with less stress.