Teachers making home visits - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-30-2005, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
Bethla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Waiting for a fairygodmother
Posts: 1,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our local school district has many schools participating in a home visit program where teachers visit the homes of their students to meet with parents. The school gets paid for these visits from a special grant... Why would they need to visit the home of a student unless there was a serious issue?

Has anyone else had a "home visit"? How do you feel about them? When the teacher sent the note home I declined and said I would prefer to meet her at school. It feels uncomfortable for me to allow a person into my home that feels like they are just there to judge how we live. Any academic situations can be discussed at school.
Bethla is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-30-2005, 06:27 PM
 
Rhiannon Feimorgan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Diagonally parked in parallel world
Posts: 4,918
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have never had a home visit, I don't think ds's school does them but I would welcome it. I think some people are naturaly more comfortable on there home ground. It can also be good for the child/teacher relationship for the child to see their teacher welcomed into thier home. I think it can also help teachers better understand children and meet their needs if the know where they're comming from.

I'm far from mainstream, our house is unusual in many ways but we have nothing to hide.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.)0(
Rhiannon Feimorgan is offline  
Old 09-30-2005, 10:01 PM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,752
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
The other day, my ds (4) said, out of the blue, "Someday, the teacher is going to come to our house." I thought "Egads! I hope he doesn't mean they are planning on making home visits!" Fortunately, he just meant that he didn't like going to school and he thought the teachers would be nicer/more fun at our house where there are less rules. I can see it could be good for the teacher/student relationship, but I'm with you, no way! I'd have to do so much cleaning to make this place respectable. It would be awkward as I don't really like the teacher.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 04:02 AM
 
Itlbokay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,358
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In some of my readings about school and the way it has changed over the years I came upon just this very subject not too long ago.

From what I remember it dealt with how a lot of schools used to have the teacher visit each student and his/her family in their home before the start of school, so that all could become familiar with each other. Perhaps this is where the term "open house" came from?

If the best intentions are meant I think it is a great idea, to familiarize your child, and yourself, with someone they spend such a great amount of time with. I think that meeting a teacher at a school open house is not sufficient in really getting to know this person, someone who will ultimately spend almost more time with your child during the school year than you, yourself.

As long as it's meant to help foster a better teacher/student/family relationship I truly think it is a wonderful idea.
Itlbokay is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 04:52 PM
 
4evermom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PA
Posts: 8,752
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Yeah, my ds could really have used a one-on-one meeting with the teacher BEFORE school started and I would have done extensive cleaning if it would have meant an easier transition to school. But these visits are after school has been in progress for a while.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
4evermom is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
Bethla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Waiting for a fairygodmother
Posts: 1,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Most of the school that seem to be participating in the program are schools that are so-called lower achieving. The group that was really promoting the school-home link was a group called ACT- area congregations together. Don't like the religious connection there.

I used to work at a school and I remember the teachers coming back from home visits talking about the homes and personal bussiness of the family. That made me extremely uncomfortable. I remember one of the teachers saying, "Wow, their house was actually clean!" That really bothered me that they would gossip about the personal situations of the families.

I have nothing to hide, but I prefer that my home-life remain private.
Bethla is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 05:39 PM
 
Pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 436
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethla
Our local school district has many schools participating in a home visit program where teachers visit the homes of their students to meet with parents. The school gets paid for these visits from a special grant... Why would they need to visit the home of a student unless there was a serious issue?

Has anyone else had a "home visit"? How do you feel about them? When the teacher sent the note home I declined and said I would prefer to meet her at school. It feels uncomfortable for me to allow a person into my home that feels like they are just there to judge how we live. Any academic situations can be discussed at school.
I don't find home visits too bad and I think there is something nice about them (not talking about a great excuse to get out the mop or scrub the grout in the bathroom shower). The home connection is nice for kids - the teacher gets to meet the family pet, or see the collections of art on the walls. The kids will get to play their favorite song on the piano for their teacher. It's exciting and fun. And it isn't so bad for teachers to know how kids interact with their parents. Any insight a teacher has is probably a good thing.

Pete
Pete is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 05:59 PM
 
kate~mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,755
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
many schools, particularly in low-achieving, low parental involvement areas, have been trying to get "out into the community" so to speak. the logic being that many parents have had negative experiences in their own education, and may be intimidated by or unwilling to attend school-based events, like parent-teacher conferences. i have heard of a number of schools in my area having open houses in community centers or parks, rather than on school grounds, so parents can feel that they have the "home advantage." once they get to know the school community, its values, and its members in neutral territory, the hope is that they will realize their children's education is not necessarily going to take the same negative path that theirs did.

i haven't heard of teachers going to their own students' houses, though. i would want to know what the goal is - is it designed to make parents more comfortable or is there a formal evaluative aspect of it?

to address a pp's concern - the teachers who were making comments like "their house was actually clean" are probably the type of person who would be making comments regardless of whether they were in your home or not - it might just be "wow, johnny's teeth actually looked brushed today." i don't think the home visiting created that type of characteristic.
kate~mom is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 06:13 PM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used to make home visits with the K teacher to each kindergartener before they started school. It was a part of an overall induction programme, including 3 sessions spent in the K classroom with parents. I loved doing it - the children loved welcoming us into their homes, showing us their pets, favourite toys etc. The parents liked it too - it was a tradition that had gone on for generations, and many of them talked about remembering their Kindergarten teacher coming to visit them at home before they started school.

I also liked the tea and cakes that the families used to serve - some of them laid on an amazing spread. Often the children had helped organise it, set out cups etc.

If it's done for the right reasons, in building partnerships and community, I think it is a great idea. I'd welcome it if the K teacher wanted to come here, especially as it might inspire me to clean my house. :LOL
Britishmum is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 06:14 PM
 
Itlbokay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,358
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kate~emmasmom
to address a pp's concern - the teachers who were making comments like "their house was actually clean" are probably the type of person who would be making comments regardless of whether they were in your home or not - it might just be "wow, johnny's teeth actually looked brushed today." i don't think the home visiting created that type of characteristic.

That concern is one that would be more serious to me on a whole other level. I would not want my child to spend so much of their time during the school year with someone who has manners that rude and unprofessional. I have to hold out hope that behavior such as that would be a rare occurrence, if it were to happen at all.
Itlbokay is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 06:16 PM
 
Altair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,411
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kate~emmasmom
i haven't heard of teachers going to their own students' houses, though. i would want to know what the goal is - is it designed to make parents more comfortable or is there a formal evaluative aspect of it?
My school does home visits.


Not every general education child has a home visit, but they are part of our Asperger's program. In order to be in our program, there's a few hoops to jump through. The child has to be dxed as Asperger's from a psychologist before anything starts. Once we set the classes, there is a home visit with 2 goals-- parent interview about the child (one team teacher does this) and observing the child (other team teacher does this). We want to know before the child comes to school what social skills s/he has, what structure s/he thrives on, if there is rigidity in play, etc. One teacher watches to see what the child plays with, whether the child notices the teacher there or is in his/her own world, and what language skills the child has. The other teacher is asking the parent about food sensitivities, sensory issues, etc. There is a LOT to learn about a child seeing them in their natural environment!

About a week after that visit the child comes into the classroom (a week before school starts) both to familarize the child with the room and with the teachers again, and to observe the child in a new situation. That visit is videotaped. The next students visit overlaps for 10 minutes with the first student so that we can slowly intorduce them to classmates and watch their social development.

It REALLY reduces anxiety the first day of school, esp for kids with special needs. We do it for some of our gen ed kids as well, and see the same benefits.


to the OP:

I really don't think a parent would need to worry about anything serious (CPS calls, etc) unless there was severe neglect in the house. The visits are NOT about judging the parents, they are about seeing the child in his/her natural environment (because starting K means the kid will be acting completely different the first few weeks of school) and opening up a conversation and professional relationship with the parent. I wouldn't worry about the teachers talking behind your back unless you have a very unprofessional set of teachers at your school!

We've never had an issue with home visits. One visit did result in the social worker talking a little more to the family, but that's because they wanted help in making the home environment more structured so their son would do as well at home as he does at school.
Altair is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 06:31 PM
 
kate~mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,755
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Itlbokay
That concern is one that would be more serious to me on a whole other level. I would not want my child to spend so much of their time during the school year with someone who has manners that rude and unprofessional. I have to hold out hope that behavior such as that would be a rare occurrence, if it were to happen at all.
absoutely!
kate~mom is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 06:37 PM
 
LizD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: with all the madmen
Posts: 2,291
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Home visits are standard at Waldorf schools, and in my experience as a teacher and a parent, no one was there to spy or make judgements about the family, and no one made disparaging comments (or even positive comments) about cleanliness, etc.

It was really nice to visit parents and my pupils at their homes, and get to relax with them a bit, have a social visit. And my daughter was always beside herself with excitement when her teachers came to visit, in kindergarten and grade one.

I think I would be more wary if it were a public school situation, and I didn't already know the teacher well, but that's my bias peeking out.
LizD is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 07:52 PM
 
Altair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,411
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizD

I think I would be more wary if it were a public school situation, and I didn't already know the teacher well, but that's my bias peeking out.

But this is HOW you get to know the teacher! I personally think it's wonderful when public schools borrow the best practices of other schools. (And that is not to say that any one type of school started the home visits trend.)

It starts the year off really nicely for the kids, parents, and teachers to be on the same page.
Altair is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 08:12 PM
 
TigerTail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: I'm finally here!
Posts: 8,660
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If I don't teach my children to go to someone's home uninvited, why do the teachers get a pass? Government intrusion, bah. (If you are in a private situation, sure, that's a contract you've made. Waldorf teachers welcome to my home, even though our Waldorf school is too far, too expensive, & pretty weird- but it sure is cool in small voluntary doses, lol. elve's fair here we come!)

Invite all you want, but coming uninvited is an intrusion, pretty thoughts about 'coming together' etc aside. It would be lovely as a suggested & voluntary visit, if everyone was amenable. tea cakes and all.

Susan
TigerTail is offline  
Old 10-01-2005, 10:21 PM
 
Altair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 2,411
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by suseyblue
If I don't teach my children to go to someone's home uninvited, why do the teachers get a pass? Government intrusion, bah. (If you are in a private situation, sure, that's a contract you've made. Waldorf teachers welcome to my home, even though our Waldorf school is too far, too expensive, & pretty weird- but it sure is cool in small voluntary doses, lol. elve's fair here we come!)
Ouch. I'm glad my student's parents don't feel this way. I have only had 100% positive experiences thus far. They don't see me as an arm of some faceless government intrusion, thank goodness.

I don't think the "pretty" thoughts about parents and teachers working together is an aside. It's so important. Why on earth would a parent send his/her child to a school where they didn't want to to work with the teachers together? How could it not benefit the child to have the people s/he sees most everyday agree about how she should be treated? I'm so not a fan of schooling being isolated from the rest of the child's life.

If I as a parent negative about my child's school experience, so much so that I wouldn't consider a visit from the teacher to be a welcome thing, I wouldn't trust those people with my child. A good teacher genuinely loves the students. People who will love my children will be welcome in my house. Maybe I'm biased from being around some really incredible teachers and seeing the benefit of a schopol 100% committed to positive discipline. I can't imagine someday sending my child to somewhere with anything less. I know not every school is like this.
Altair is offline  
Old 10-02-2005, 12:38 AM
 
applejuice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: hunting the wild aebelskiever
Posts: 18,405
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethla
Our local school district has many schools participating in a home visit program where teachers visit the homes of their students to meet with parents. The school gets paid for these visits from a special grant... Why would they need to visit the home of a student unless there was a serious issue?

Has anyone else had a "home visit"? How do you feel about them? When the teacher sent the note home I declined and said I would prefer to meet her at school. It feels uncomfortable for me to allow a person into my home that feels like they are just there to judge how we live. Any academic situations can be discussed at school.
You are correct. If I was presented with the same thing, I would respond the same way.

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
applejuice is offline  
Old 10-02-2005, 03:59 AM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by suseyblue
If I don't teach my children to go to someone's home uninvited, why do the teachers get a pass? Government intrusion, bah. (If you are in a private situation, sure, that's a contract you've made. Waldorf teachers welcome to my home, even though our Waldorf school is too far, too expensive, & pretty weird- but it sure is cool in small voluntary doses, lol. elve's fair here we come!)

Invite all you want, but coming uninvited is an intrusion, pretty thoughts about 'coming together' etc aside. It would be lovely as a suggested & voluntary visit, if everyone was amenable. tea cakes and all.

Susan
Umm, I'm so glad that the families I worked with did not see my caring and interest in their children as an intrusion. It took many hours of my free time to visit each and every one of them. They had every right to not accept the offer of a home visit, but strangely, nobody ever did. Heck, we did not come to their doors unannounced and insist that they let us in

Boy, spending every Monday evening for months at a family's home did not seem to me to be a 'pass'. Amazing that my dedication to my students could be seen as being a 'government pass' to intrude.

I just do not understand the blanket suspicion of each and every PS educator. Most of them care deeply about the children in their care, and because of this are willing to give up inordinate hours to work with the families to do their best for them. I have wonderful memories of many of the families that I worked with, including visiting their homes many times. I am really, really glad that none of them saw me as an intrusion.

Why is it fine for a private school teacher to 'intrude' but not a PS teacher? I'm as crunchy as they come, but I guess unless I have a Waldorf label, you would be deeply suspicious of my motives in wanting to connect with the children and families that I work with? This makes no sense at all.

Just to give you an idea of the connection that some PS educators have with their students, I got a message recently from a kid I taught 10 years ago in London. He is now 18, has a job, and a girlfriend who apparently is a 'real looker'. He sent a message with a friend of mine, who recognised him in the street. He wanted me to know that he had 'done good', mainly because of the interest I had taken in him, my belief in him, and the time I spent with him and his family working through his challenges in school. And yes, I spent time in his home on home visits. Intrusion? I don't think so, and it seems, neither did he.
Britishmum is offline  
Old 10-02-2005, 12:21 PM
 
kate~mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,755
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum
I just do not understand the blanket suspicion of each and every PS educator. Most of them care deeply about the children in their care, and because of this are willing to give up inordinate hours to work with the families to do their best for them.
:
kate~mom is offline  
Old 10-02-2005, 02:33 PM
 
TigerTail's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: I'm finally here!
Posts: 8,660
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
brit, the point is, you *offered*. you asked. that is not intrusion. that is choice, which *is* the difference between private school parents opting in & public school parents being coerced.

i have the greatest respect for you voluntarily devoting your time to getting to know your students, but must you label anyone who would not choose to participate as an uncaring parent, and/or with something to hide? (not to mention the 'blanket suspicion' of anyone who would oppose mandatory home visits- if 'privacy' is somehow, however obliquely, a constitutional right, do you not see a violation in taking away a parent's choice to entertain a given teacher?)

a thought-provoking conversation (hopefully it can get back off the ad hominem track & discuss the topic at hand.)

applejuice, i know you have opinions about government intrusion <g>. i'd love to hear more (didn't get a lot of sleep last night & my debate skills are somewhat foggy.)

ps an apology in advance to any offended waldorf parents: 'weird' is not necessarily a term of opprobrium in my book :P, & i have been oft tempted to bury manure in a cow's horn under a full moon.

susan
TigerTail is offline  
Old 10-02-2005, 02:49 PM
 
laurata's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Settling in the Sound
Posts: 1,178
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Our teacher offers/ requests home visits of all her students. It gives her an opportunity to get to know her student and their parents on their own turf, and the kids love to show her around their home. I haven't scheduled it yet, and I'm not sure yet whether or not I will. I like her teacher, and since she is a neighbor, I would like to get to know her better, but I am SO embarrassed about the state of my home. I don't think I could invite ANYONE in. I'm completely swamped just trying to stay healthy and sane, and the housework is clearly and visually not a priority. :

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
laurata is offline  
Old 10-02-2005, 03:36 PM
 
LindaCl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
There has been a push in the last few years to encourage home visitations, and we've studied a few home visitation grant programs at our company (sort of a research company that evaluates experimental programs covering a range of social policy issues, especially related to youth). The intention behind those we've looked at is very well meaning. Research shows that parent involvement in their children's school is a key factor to student success in school. The home visitations in the programs we looked at were trying to reconnect home to school, particularly to those families who are intimidated by schools or disinterested in it. There are a variety of reasons families stay remote from their children's schools, but many times this person-to-person, one on one with parents in the home environment makes the parent feel their involvement and role as parents is valued by the school, and this helps break down barriers.

Now of course, it would be highly inappropriate for a teacher to 'target' families who the teacher feels are detached. The teacher in these programs would reach out to every family. But the intention to reattach disconnected families to help improve student outcomes was the primary reason the grant funding was offered.

Though the intention is well meaning, like any other one-size-fits-all solution, there's the potential for these efforts backfire. It's sometimes a very sensitive issue for the student. For example, many students are extremely self-conscious, especially around pre-adolescence I think. They can be mortified that their teacher will see their home circumstances.

I'm speaking now only of a few of the home visitation grant programs we looked at. It probably isn't the case everywhere.

Linda
LindaCl is offline  
Old 10-02-2005, 10:42 PM
 
Britishmum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 4,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by suseyblue
brit, the point is, you *offered*. you asked. that is not intrusion. that is choice, which *is* the difference between private school parents opting in & public school parents being coerced.

i have the greatest respect for you voluntarily devoting your time to getting to know your students, but must you label anyone who would not choose to participate as an uncaring parent, and/or with something to hide? (not to mention the 'blanket suspicion' of anyone who would oppose mandatory home visits- if 'privacy' is somehow, however obliquely, a constitutional right, do you not see a violation in taking away a parent's choice to entertain a given teacher?)

susan
I'm not sure where the idea came from that PS parents are coerced into having home visits. IME they most certainly were not. They were asked if they wanted to make an arrangement, and they all did.

Of course I see a complete violation in any forced home visit. And I wouldn't label any parent who didnt want a visit as anything other than a parent who chose not to have a home visit. That would be their choice, and that's fine imo, although nobody made that choice in the schools I worked with.

But maybe I missed something earlier in the thread? Are there home visit programs that are mandatory?
Britishmum is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off