The need for solid presentation skills is everywhere. Last night I went to my daughter’s school for curriculum night and listened to a general session of information that is happening in the school and seven teacher presentations, one for each class my daughter takes. Here are some takeaways from those presentations.
- Preparation: It was noticeable who was prepared and who wasn’t. For many parents this may be the only time they got a chance to interact with the teachers in person. Teachers with a long tenure at the school flowed much better with their presentations than new teachers.
- Attention: One teacher caught my attention right from the beginning and engaged the parents in the classroom. She didn’t talk about her credentials, classroom policies, or procedures, but had a theme that was delivered throughout the presentation. She was the last presentation and had every parent captivated even after a long day.
- Enthusiasm: I recognize the length of the day for the teachers was pretty long and you may have just given the same presentation 5 times, but show some energy. There were 3 presentations that I felt missed the mark in this area.
- Mood: One of the classrooms I walked in on had the main lights off, table lamps on, and had a comfortable curl up in your chair and read a book feeling. As you would probably guess, this was Language Arts. I felt like I was participating with my daughter in class.
- Organization: I was impressed by the “Startup Slide” that my child sees every day, the handout of the syllabus, the contact information at the ready. I was disappointed by some teachers not getting started on time, “on the fly” presenting, and running through the syllabus in a verbatim fashion.
- Several teachers anticipated the questions parents were asking
- My daughter has a very educated set of teachers with varying backgrounds. She should have a great education year
- There were some references to teaching to the standard tests
- Parental involvement was encouraged
- Teachers prefer email almost exclusively
- Curriculum changes were discussed
Parents that chose not to attend this really lost out in my opinion. Make sure you work to participate in your child’s education.