back to school night VENT

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by seemoreglass, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. seemoreglass

    seemoreglass Rookie

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    Sep 2, 2008

    So tonight was our back to school night/open house. Time to see the classroom and meet the teacher for parents, right?

    Well, let me ask you all something. How many parents do you usually get on these kind of nights?

    Because out of a class of 25 (15 of whom are reading 2 grade levels below grade level), I had 1 parent show up. 1?!?!?! Are you kidding me? Now I'm starting to understand why this class is already driving me crazy the 2nd week of school if only 1 kid has a parent who cares enough to come meet the teacher.

    This is my fourth year and while it's been poorly attended before, it's never been this bad. Actually last year, I thought I had found a nice trick to get parents to come (14 came last year), but then this?!?! Bagh! I miss my class from last year.

    What's the deal?! What's back to school/open house like for you all?
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    That's bad! It's hardly worthwhile to stay there all night for just one parent. I'm sorry. :(

    My track record is slightly better than yours, but not by much. At our open houses (high school), I tend to get 20-30 parents--out of 200 students!
     
  4. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    What was last year's trick???
    I'm sorry to hear about your horrible turnout; yep; that's pretty bad. This year, I had 14 out of 16 show up!
     
  5. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Oh no! I'm so sorry!

    I'm really looking forward to open house. It's kid free, so I'm providing lots of desserts and finger food, along with fun drinks. I'm making some display boards with pictures from our first few weeks, explaining how we do certain activities, like our reader's/writer's notebooks and morning meetings. I'm hoping I get everyone to show up.

    I'm sending home a note this week, and I'm also having the kids mail their parents invitation postcards. Hopefully they will come! Although I'm a bit scared that I might have your turnout!
     
  6. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Wow! That is truly disgraceful! Ours was last week and I had 7 no-shows out of 25 kids. Three of the no-shows did let me know ahead of time that they wouldn't be able to make it, and one was moving this week to Montana so I didn't think she would make it. Can your colleagues offer ideas on why or how to get them next time? I hope your parent conferences go better in a couple of months!!:tired:
     
  7. SpaceAngel

    SpaceAngel Comrade

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    It wasn't Meet the Teacher night, but I did a stint at a charter school (the story is probably floating around the archives here somewhere). We had an "open-door" type conference night.

    I had 25 first graders, two were siblings, so that's 24 sets of parents/guardians. NOT ONE CAME.

    I agree that it is really sad. These children deserve better than this.
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    How did the other teachers fair with their parents?
     
  9. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    I had 7/25 no shows. My friend across the hall had 23/25 show up.
    Wow! 1 parent--how truly sad.
     
  10. teachwi

    teachwi Rookie

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    Im sorry that you went through that- I have one in a couple of weeks for a brand new 4 year old Kindergarten program.. I'm looking for ideas as to what to have out, prepare, expect... any thoughts
     
  11. reverie

    reverie Companion

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    Wow, it's hard to believe no one showed up. I'm curious, too, what was last year's trick?
     
  12. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    When I taught middle school, I'd get 7 or 8 out of 90. But with third grade, I'd expect a much higher turnout.

    I had 8 out of 18. But I also had as many come to the classroom and visit me before schools started. I actually think that my communication with parents before school was so good this year, that many felt they wouldn't hear anything they didn't already know (in some ways, they may have been right).

    (c'mon Jem. You know you'll get every one of them there since they're paying customers. And are you sure it's kid free or does admin just say it's kid free? Our's is "kid free" but everybody brings their kids)
     
  13. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    We had a free hot dog dinner for our K-8 school of 400. We orderd 1200 hot dogs. They served around 250. However, the "Open House" was from 5:00-6:00 all inclusive and our cafeteria was packed almost the entire time. If they had to serve 1200 they would have been there until midnight! Bad planning! I actually had about 12 parents show up to my room out of about 40 students.
     
  14. seemoreglass

    seemoreglass Rookie

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    I had the kids write a letter to their parents. The trick was the parents had to come to back to school night to get the letter. The parent that did come did ask for the letter as I had almost completely forgotten.
     
  15. seemoreglass

    seemoreglass Rookie

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    The other third grade teacher had 3 out of 25 show up (one of whom is the 2nd grade teacher at our school). I think the highest anyone got was maybe 8 out of 25. I set the record last year with my 14 which was why I was so disappointed this year. Parent conferences are always a joke, too. Lucky to get more than a couple show up.
     
  16. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    We're required to make contact with parents for conferences. If they don't show, we have to call them and reschedule it.
     
  17. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Apparently the owner goes around and asks parents to leave if they bring their kids. I'm not sure I agree with that. We only have two classes scheduled for a night, so I'm with fourth grade-which only has 8 kids! First and second grade are on another night.

    And my private school isn't a snooty school at all. I found out the other day that tuition is under $200 a week, which includes daycare (6am-6pm), so we def. have kids from all walks of life. We've even had kids dropped off without a lunch. So we'll see!
     
  18. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I usually have 22-24 (out of 25) show up. I've never had a year that everyone has come, but I've been close. I send out a postcard when I get my class list inviting students to Open House to meet their teacher and drop off their supplies.

    I'm sorry you had a bad turn-out. It's shocking that only 1 came.
     
  19. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Umm. . .so, does the school serve refreshments on back-to-school night?

    Because free pizza/cookies/beer/whatever has always been the most reliable way I've known to get people to show up. It doesn't need to be expensive.
     
  20. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Wow! I had all but two show this year and both had met with me before school was out to request me. So I think that is why they weren't there.
     
  21. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I work on a military base and the parents are really involved. I usually have everyone show up to open house and parent-teacher conferences.
     
  22. Mrs.A

    Mrs.A Rookie

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    Our school doesn't give out report cards for the first nine weeks unless the parents have a conference. I usually have about 90-95% attendance and the others do a phone conference to get theirs. No such luck for Back to School night-even the free hot dogs, soda and chips don't always bring them in. I had 9/25 attend this year.
     
  23. DaTeach

    DaTeach Comrade

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    Our parents are sent a note that open house will be used just for "meet the teacher night." We are NOT supposed to have conferences while parents are coming in and out of our rooms because of the privacy issue. Every parent wants a conference that night. They just don't get it. I usually don't see the parents that I need to see anyway!

    I usually have about half of the students' parents/caretakers to show up, and for some, it is the only time I will see them all year.

    I had a parent to make 3 conferences last year to talk to me about her son, and didn't show OR CALL for any of them. I finally told the secretary not to schedule any other conferences. We communicated by notes on test folders, progress reports, and report cards.
     
  24. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    That's so awful - I am so sorry.
     
  25. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I would be mad if I cleaned and everything and only one parent showed! :p

    I had my all-time record this year 17/22. I actually ran out of chairs because several came with their spouses.

    Jem I love your ideas of the presentation boards with pictures - my parents would just love that and it's a relatively easy thing to put together.

    Some parents at our school claimed they didn't know about it - my parents couldn't say that - I had told them to mark the date from the letters I sent before school, in 2 newsletters, on the website in big letters and I literally stapled a note around the kids wrists that afternoon when they went home. I also get some cheap door prizes like puzzles or sight word note pads to raffle off to the parents.
     
  26. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    You stapled the note around their wrist. LMBO. How creative!
     
  27. snoangel

    snoangel Rookie

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    Wow! We had an ice cream social last night (which was like meet the teacher, see your room, etc.) and had 16/19 show up. I was stunned. I just hope I left a good impression because I couldn't really spend quality time with anyone. I thought my directions were clear (I made up a to do list that basically had parents help kids sort supplies, and put them in their desks) but that seemed to be challenging to some...
     
  28. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    :whistle::whistle::whistle:

    Case in point.....
     
  29. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I usually have a good turnout for back to school night -- the only thing I don't like is that we are supposed to have 3 sessions during the evening (so parents with multiple kids get a chance to go to all of their kids' classrooms) but the parents all wander in and out at different times instead of by the schedule, so you can't really give any kind of a presentation. And there are ALWAYS several parents that drag along 4 or 5 siblings/cousins/friends/babysitting clients (usually toddlers) who will absolutely trash your room, while the parent says NOTHING! I have to hide all my fun stuff so it doesn't end up being ruined, instead of showcasing the interesting things we do.
     
  30. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    I thought I was the only one who hid stuff! I hate doing that because it looks like there isn't any "great" items. I don't want my room trashed out or kids playing with the "toys" without any supervision. Besides, guess who will end up cleaning up and it encourages them to stay longer!
     
  31. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    I'm really fortunate in that 18/19 were there. I called and talked with my parents the weekend before open house. It was time consuming but worth it. I really feel like these parents will support me. Also, mine are all identified gifted and those parents are always very supportive of their kids.

    I've found the lower the social-economic ladder the fewer show. It's an intimidation issue, blue collar workers just getting off work, dirty & smelly, and they just don't feel like returning to a bad scene from their childhood. They probably didn't have good experiences in school and just prefer to stay away unless you really roll out the red carpet. All schools need these parent's participation.
     
  32. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    At ours I had 7 out of 18 show up.... they were the ones who came in and spent time at registration too. I only had 4-5 more at registration but they came in, filled out papers, and left. I have a set of parents that I have yet to meet too. They couldn't come in the morning during registration nor later afternoon-evening for the open house, yet they want to meet with me about their daughter. Not sure when they plan to do it though!
     

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