There have been years when I have students run open house. I have had small groups stand and show their work to parents and talk about our instructional routines. I've had parents write to their children and children write to their parents. I've had students run centers during Open House and even read or perform poetry. I wish I'd planned a creative piece for this year, but I didn't. The most engaging piece of the evening has been thing we've done is look at a students' latest essays to give parents a clear picture of our new assessment
We have new standards and new high-stakes tests. We have new textbooks and our school is in the middle of a thirty-month remodel. This year I'm doing the talking though now that I've talked through five class periods I can honestly say I wish I'd put something more student-centered in place. Ten minutes is such a short meet and greet time.
Still, it's been a pleasure to meet my students' parents. I've loved telling them how great their children are this evening. Sharing how students shine tops my list of teaching perks.