Go home!

What if you met every parent where they lived, how would that impact the way you teach their student.

Photo of Trever Reeh

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Overview: (What’s this idea about)

Go home is an initial visit with parents and students to introduce yourself.  This is done within the first week of school so parents can put a name to a face when they see you during parent-teacher conferences, back to school night, or open house.  The visit is about taking making that connection with the parents to let them know that you can always approach them about their child and that they will be safe in your classroom.

Potential For Impact: (Why is this an idea that provides ongoing support?)

  • Provides face to face interaction between parents and teachers.
  • Shows students that you know who their parents are.
  • Shows that teacher is comfortable to reach out to parents.
  •  Provides a connection from school to home with homework, grades, etc.
  • Implemented in Elementary Classrooms can see the teacher before the first day of school. 

Value Prop/Pitch: (How would you pitch this to other teachers in your school? Your principal? Etc)

With our low parent-teacher conference attendance, we need to be making connections between the home and school more frequently at the beginning of the school year.  This bridge between home and school needs to come at the beginning of the year and hold students accountable on both ends.  If we introduce ourselves and reach out to parents during that first week of school, but not by phone call, but incorporating house visits to meet the parents and introduce ourselves as the classroom teacher.

How’d I get this idea off the ground?

Start small, get 1-2 other people to go on house visits with you.  At the middle/high school level multiple teachers have the same students. Visit the students’ parents that you know have trouble early on in the year.  Make a connection with those parents and plan to see them at open house or parent teacher conferences.

How you can get started:

  • Form a group of like minded teachers to reach out to a few students at the beginning of the year.
  • You don’t have to do all your students in 1 day.
  • Come up with an introduction and tweak it to fit your style.
  • Make sure to include things about yourself, how you can be reached during the school year.
  • You can never go wrong with a handshake.

Metrics:

  1. Find out what percentage of parents you met before parent-teacher conferences by informal meeting.
  2. How many parents came to parent-teacher conferences.
  3.  Keep making connections between home and school.

Tips

  • Schedule your home visit first. (7-10 days in advance)
    • If it all possible let the parent/guardian set the date and time of the meeting.
    • Make sure all students get a home visit.
  • Learn a few key phrases in “home” language.
  • Ask someone to accompany you, preferably in their language of choice.
  • Avoid talking about negative things.
    • Keep the conversation positive.
    • Don’t talk about grades or behavior.
  • If during the year, bring one example where that particular student shined.
  • After the meeting reflect on what strengths that family can have on your classroom.

Materials to get this idea off the ground:

Common Spanish Phrases (Language of Preference)

Gas Money

Original Post

We never really put ourselves (as teachers) in the shoes of our students and student's parents.  What if during the first week of school we met every student, (or a select group of students) where they lived.  It could be a short informal hand-shake to a good healthy conversation about their student just to meet and introduce yourself as their classroom teacher.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tmkAHJWueDixoU5o9HTgWa9eNQgsSrqskW8mwYwnSeM/edit?usp=sharing

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Photo of Molly McMahon
Team

Trever -- So good! I think getting home not only rebalances the power between the classroom and the home, but gives teachers insights into who their students are, where they come from, and the types of nights they have before they come into school.  Thanks for sharing this best practice! 

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