On Thursday, January 26 Leesville held its spring semester Open House. This is a a biannual event that allows parents to come meet their students’ teachers and learn about plans for the rest of the year. Though not as highly attended as the fall open house, many parents were on campus from 6:30-8:00 pm.
For the first time, there was no opening session in the gymnasium for parents before the open house officially began. Parents instead went to their child’s first period class and received a schedule of the rest of their courses. Each “class period” lasted 15 minutes, and teachers briefly explained to the parents the course material from their class, as well as grading explanations and general expectations.
Mr. Davis, social studies teacher, has a unique way of summarizing the World History curriculum. “Sometimes I will run through a list of time periods and people,” said Davis. “But instead of taking my time explaining them all, I do it all in one breath so it seems like, ‘Wow, that is a lot of information.’” Davis has prepared for roughly 16 open houses in his career at Leesville.
Davis is not the only teacher who introduces his subject to parents in a unique way. Mrs. Sollie, Spanish teacher, immerses the parents in the language of Spanish much like she does with her students. “I introduce myself and briefly explain the curriculum in [fluent] Spanish,” Sollie explained. “Eventually I switch back to English, but that gives the parents an idea of what their kids experience every day.” The Spanish department also plays festive music in their classrooms as the parents switch classes.
Teachers who instruct elective courses have different curricula for their classes, and therefore explain what the semester will be like in different ways. Ms. Wrayno, the only technical theater teacher at Leesville, begins each session with an introduction to the theater department website and the basics of her curriculum, and ends by showing a video that one of her past students created.
The video, titled “Tech Is” shows a students’ perspective on technical theater, “Hell Week,” and the friendships made during the long hours of working on a show. “When parents see the pictures of students having fun and developing strong friendships with the peers they meet through [technical theater], it makes a difference in how they [the parents] perceive the class.”
After “fourth period” ended, parents went home knowing more about their students’ semester, expectations for the rest of the year, and teacher material wish-lists.