When teachers visit homes, students can benefit

Posted on Tuesday, 12/31/2013 3:57 PM

When teachers want to speak to parents outside of regular school hours, mothers and fathers may assume that their children have done something wrong. However, meetings between instructors and parents, including home visits, have become more common. 

While some students may dread having a teacher show up at their home, such visits could actually benefit pupils' academic performance.

Inside home visits
If teachers and parents have yet to embrace home visits, it helps for them to know what they typically entail and why they're helpful. Ultimately, home visits have the potential to benefit all parties involved.

For teachers, visiting the space where a student resides provides a chance to enter his or her world and better understand the pupil in question, according to the National Education Association. At the same time, students get to see their instructors in a different light. If these individuals are willing to spend time with pupils outside of the classroom, it's a sign of how much they care for their students. This has the potential to make kids feel more engaged in their learning.

According to the NEA, most educators have said the home visits they made ended up having a long-term impact on parent-teacher communication, as well as the students with whom they spent time.

Examples of success
Clay Elementary School in St. Louis, Mo., is one institution where students know their teachers could swing by their home. The Associated Press reported that instructors from Clay, as well as more than 30 other St. Louis-area schools, have embraced the concept of home visits.

The students and parents who make up these schools' communities are experiencing many of the benefits the NEA highlighted. For example, Mark Brown, father to 6-year-old Clay student Unafay, told the news source his daughter gets to see how much her teachers care about her by visiting.

In other cases, the home visits help students and teachers better understand one another, which makes for healthier relationships in the classroom.

"I wish they had this when I had children in school," Elmira Warren, a teacher's aide at Clay, told the news outlet. "I was fearful of what the teachers thought, and of not knowing enough."

Even if schools don't have teachers visiting students' homes, it's important for educators to know there are ways to improve communication with parents. For instance, the online GradeBook from ProgressBook provides parents with access to student data at any time, so long as they're connected to the Internet.

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