With the start of the school year just around the corner, curriculum night is almost here. Fall is a busy time of year for parents, but attending curriculum night is something that is exponentially worthwhile: there is much to learn at this open forum, which is why educators encourage all parents to go. (Yes, even if your child’s older sibling had the same teacher!)
So, what is curriculum night?
Often confused with parent-teacher interviews (though they, too, are on the horizon), curriculum night is an educational open house hosted at your child’s school. It takes place across all levels, including elementary and high schools, public and private schools alike.
At curriculum night, you should expect:
- teacher presentations on curriculum
- teachers providing an outline for routines and expectations—a great help in getting students prepared for a successful school year
- time to meet and talk briefly with your child’s teacher and establish a good working relationship from the get-go
Although the date varies by school, this orientation night typically takes place in the first month of school, anywhere from mid to end of September.
Why should I go to curriculum night?
1. Meet your child’s teacher and school administration.
Take this opportunity to be proactive and meet the teacher and school team in advance of Parent-Teacher Interview Night and progress report time.
2. Network with parents and participate in Q&As.
Use the occasion to meet the parents of your child’s peers and participate in a group question and answer period. Sometimes parents learn the most from the questions asked by others.
3. See firsthand what students will be learning.
Get a glimpse of the timetable, routine and curriculum breakdown of what will be covered throughout the year. This will also include highlights, field trips, and other topics students will look forward to.
4. Understand homework expectations and evaluation practices.
Learn about homework and organizational expectations, as well as what students need to bring to school to be successful.
5. Get familiar with your child’s learning environment.
Presentations tend to be in the classroom that your child will learn in throughout the year. This is an opportunity to sit in their seat, literally!
6. Start a one-on-one dialogue with the teacher.
Although this is not a formal meeting, it’s a time to ask any questions or provide the teacher with any critical information that will benefit you child’s learning throughout the year.
7. Learn about the teacher’s communication strategy.
By meeting the teacher firsthand you will get a sense of their teaching style as well as their communication strategy. Teachers will explain how they plan to interact with students and parents throughout the year, whether by letters, emails, agendas, or blogs. It’s also an opportunity to give your e-mail to the teacher if there is a class list.
8. Be informed on school policies and rules.
Use this time to get information on school safety routines, as well as pick-up and drop off expectations.
9. Find out how to get involved and volunteer.
If you’re interested in volunteering, use this evening as a chance to learn how to become involved in your child’s school.
10. Send your child a message that you care.
This may be the most important reason to attend: You’ll show your child that you are interested in their experiences as a student and in what they are learning.