BY KYLE NELSON
With the sound of the bell, footsteps quickly filled the hallways. This time, the footsteps belonged to parents instead of students.
On September 26, CCHS hosted its annual open house. The event gave teachers the opportunity to showcase their plans for the year to the parents of their students.
Open house forced parents to retrospectively step into their child’s shoes. Armed with a copy of their child’s schedule and a bottle of water, parents embarked on a trip into their children’s daily lives. Parents visited each of their child’s classes for a 10-minute informational seminar from the teacher. Once their modified period ended, the bell would ring and parents would have to rush to their next class in another 10 minutes.
Comments like, “oh my gosh, I’m on the wrong side!” and “how does my child do this?” were often heard when walking through the halls during passing. Luckily, administration and NJROTC members were posted at nearly every doorway, ready to assist lost parents in finding their next class.
“Last night was great for our cadets to get better acquainted with our school, staff members and public service in general,” NJROTC Cadet Ensign and supply manager Katherine Smith said. “We were able to help parents find their way around our school with no complications, I would say it was a success.”
Some information covered during their brief meeting included the teacher’s background, their teaching style, course material, policy changes and an overview of the online resources that will be used throughout the year.
Additionally, some teachers like English teacher Lisa Jones used the night as a way to bridge the gap between the teacher and the parent. Jones believes that one of the best ways to enhance a student’s learning environment and overall success is for the teacher to have a comfortable relationship with the parent.
“I think it sets the tone for the year,” Jones said. “It gives me the opportunity to start building my rapport and sharing my [teaching] philosophy. It also helps me to start building a classroom community and to establish the most important thing to me which is safety and security.”
For parents, this night was a way that they could focus on their child’s educational success.
“I have always thought that it doesn’t matter if your child is in kindergarten or 12-grade, back to school night is important,” Mary Ann Smith, the parent of a junior, said. “I had a child graduate last year and this is now my fifth year here. I think they do a great job and the teachers are excellent.”
With 10 days off of school and a hurricane to boot, the start of the 2017-2018 school year has been eventful, to say the least. With open house being later than it generally is, the overall turnout was lesser than it has been in years past.
“I am surprised with the numbers; it seemed a little lighter this year. I understand we got off to a disruptive start with the storm and being out of school for ten days, people are still in that recovery mode,” Principal Wendy Doll said. “With that said, the parents have been awesome and the teachers are certainly showcasing all we have to offer here.”
Photo by Sabrine Brismeur