Photo Op! — Remember the Concert
Parent communication is a constant struggle. As a music teacher I’m not in daily contact with parents and opening that line of communication can be tricky. Even classroom teachers, who connect with parents on a near daily basis, often have troubles communicating with some parents. Now take that struggle and multiply it by hundreds or even thousands. I’m always looking for innovative ways to help parents see into my music classroom and get messages about upcoming events. That struggle to connect led to this fun and different way to help parents remember the concert and upcoming music events.
Every Parent Teacher Conference Day I try and put out some sort of poster or reminder to keep our upcoming concert in the minds of our parents and kids. Parent Teacher conferences are high-traffic days and more parents are in the building than normal. I want to capitalize on this exposure and I try and put out fliers, bulletin boards, and notices for parents.
To make things more difficult, our concerts are off-campus since our little school can’t hold all the parents, neighbors, and students who come to the event. I feel like I always have to drag and pull and send home a ton of notes and reminders to get all my kids to remember the concert and show up on performance night. It’s a pain, and it’s often hard for our low-income families to sacrifice a night (many parents work nights) to drive the 10-15 minutes away for our concert. They really need advanced notice to take time off to make it to the event. I try my best to remind families early and keep the kids excited about the concert.
I work a part-time retail job and found this “traffic talker” near the dumpster one night. Another store at the mall was going out of business or remodeling and got rid of this metal bracket. “Traffic Talkers” like this one hold up signs right outside the store to let you know about sales or new items in the store. I knew I could reuse and repurpose it for my needs!
I took a piece of foam core, cut out a hole for a face, papered and decorated the board, and then hung the foam core with twist ties. The board was decorated with an alien (the theme for the upcoming concert is “Space Invaders”) who was holding a sign saying “Space Invaders Concert November 12th at…” I brought in a couple 2nd and 3rd grade kids to test the height and size of the hole and it seems to work well. My hope is that lots of parents take their child’s photo and have the physical reminder of the concert.
EDIT: The traffic talker worked really well for parent teacher conferences and got families excited about the upcoming concert. I kept the board in tact and changed the signs he was holding from “Concert coming up…” to “I survived the Space Invasion on November 12th…” Then I took the whole thing to the high school where we have our concerts and set it out for parents to take pictures with as one more photo op moment. All-in-all the contraption was a hit and a fun way to connect with parents and get them to remember the concert!