If you don’t know what an “open class” is, it’s where the parents observe your class for a day.
Open classes are stressful. There is a lot of prep work involved, as well as time spent teaching new words and sentences to the students. This year, my theme was “things we eat and drink”. We talked briefly about grains, vegetables, fruits, and drinks. I limited the categories to those four, and each one contained four different examples – making a total of sixteen vocabulary words!! Let me remind you that I teach six-year-olds. Sixteen vocabulary words is a lot to remember for that age. We spent all month rehearsing the game and learning the words.
For each food item, I would ask the question, “What is it?”, and they would answer, “It’s a ‘carrot’ “.
Then I would ask, “What’s a ‘carrot’?”, and they would answer, ” ‘Carrot’ is a vegetable!”.
(I had to simplify the students’ responses as much as possible without botching the grammar)
For the actual class, we went through a PowerPoint slide show, played a shopping game, and danced to the song, “Hot Potato” at the end (with the parents). I had four separate six-year-old kindergarten classes, and just finished my last one today. I’ve heard that most parents have been pleased so far with how the class went and with myself as the teacher.🙂
This wasn’t my first time doing open class so…
I want to share five tips for any open class you may in the future.
- (Frankie says) Relax! – If you’re nervous or stressed, it will show. Don’t worry about the parents or administrators who are observing the lesson. Teach it as you normally would.
- Be enthusiastic! – I hold the opinion that a class can be a reflection of the teacher. So, if you’re an upbeat and energetic teacher, you students will emulate that too (well maybe not all of them).
- Involve the parents – It’s generally a great idea to engage both students and parents during the open class. It can be something simple as asking a question, “Parents, are you hungry?”, or involving them in the activity. It lets the parents know you want their support and you’re doing your best to care for their children.
- Be prepared! – This should go without saying, but I’ve observed classes by other teachers, and even reflecting on my own past classes, and nothing looks worse than an ill-prepared class. It doesn’t give a good impression to parents who may be seeing you for the first time. Plus if there are any administrators, you won’t win any points with them either.And lastly,
- Make sure you know all your students’ names. – If you’re a new teacher, this is especially important. Even if you’re a veteran, learn your kids’ names! I’ve know a few teachers who didn’t know their students’ names and during the class, they’d say, “you there…”, or something else just as embarrassing. Parents want to know you’re engaging their kid, and if you don’t know their name then it shows the parents you don’t care.
So there you have it! These tips should help you be ready for any open or observed class you may have during your teaching career!