I just got home from my 4th Open House (don't you love those 14 hour days at school). I teach fourth grade and our school (a 4-6 school with 6 sections of each grade) has one Open House night. It is always crowded and overwhelming, but I really want it to go better next year so I need some help.
I have the same issue each year- parents who want to know how their child is doing or parents who want a conference, not a quick greeting.
First off, there is not enough time to tell 24 kids' parents how they're doing (the open house only lasts an hour).
Second, I don't know the kids well (today was the 9th day of school- I'm still figuring out how they're doing).
Third, it is not a very private time to discuss any issues I have noticed or that parents want to discuss (mostly behavioral, or IEP issues).
I have tried to be proactive and tell parents to call me, or email me, or set up a time to meet with me early in the year, not at Open House. I have tried in the moment to say I would love to discuss it further, but I need to set up a different time. None of it works.
I end up with a huge line of people waiting to talk to me, impatient students, and none of these conversations going the way I planned.
What strategies do you use to make your Open House work well?