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 Home visits... 
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We've discussed getting involved in student's personal lives to some extent and I was wondering what everyone thought about this:

Do you think it's appropriate for teachers to visit the homes of their students? The idea behind this question is that where my mother works, the kindergarten teacher visits the home of each student at the beginning of the year. While I think that this is a wonderful idea, my mom thinks that this is intrusive and rude. Any ideas?

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Nikki Tester


Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:30 am
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My mom is a kindergarten teacher and regularly goes on home visits at the start of the school year. My sister is a speech therapist and goes on home visits to the same house at least once a week. I have to disagree with your mom, and say I think that home-visits are in no way intrusive or rude. In my mom's case as a kindergarten teacher home-visits are a very personal time to be able to connect with the parents and student. This opens up time for questions and one on one discussion. I believe home-visits also allow the teacher to better understand the student. But by all means, if a family has a problem with the teacher coming to their house, I think it should certainly be fine for the family to refuse a home visit and be able to make other arrangements.

In my sisters case, she is offering her services as a speech therapist and making it nice and easy for the child to receive these special services within their home.

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Hannah Johnson


Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:24 pm
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Home visits in my opinion could go either way, in regards to being intrusive, or helpful and welcomed. Therefore, they should always be an option to benefit the child and help the teacher better provide for the family's needs. Should a family not want to participate in home visits it should in no way be pushed on them. However, home visits can be exciting for the child, and make them feel special. It makes families and students realize that the teacher cares about and realizes the individual differences and needs in each student's learning. The home visits can also be more convenient for busy working parents as opposed to in school conferences, etc. although this shouldn't rule out a general open house or the option of in classroom conferences should they be necessary. Home visits provide an understanding of the child's family life and background and will better able the teacher to meet the child's and the family's needs as far as the child's education goes.

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Alison K. Scott


Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:17 am
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I believe that if home visits are done in such a way as to allow the parents the option of refusing them, and also ample time to prepare for the visits, then they are a great tool. I believe that it shows parents that as the teacher you are willing to go out of your way for their child and to accomadate the families needs. It's a great way for busy moms and dads to meet with the teacher on their own schedule. I also believe it makes for a much more comfortable and relaxed enviroment to discuss matters that may need to be addressed during these meetings.

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Amanda Klinger


Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:54 am
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I have mixed feelings on this topic. It depends on the reason for making a home visit. I think I would personally feel more comfortable discussing matters of education at the school. For one, it puts a lot of work on the teacher to visit each student. (I know it is a lot of work for the parents too. But teachers have 25 students and parents generally don't have 25 kids. ) As I get older and have children, I wouldn't have time for that. But, I do like the idea of having a more relaxed atmosphere. It seems that it would allow the student to behave more naturally since they are in their home environment.

On the flip side, I think I would be more inclined to make judgment calls about the students especially at the beginning of the year before I know them. I think it could also put the teacher in a bad position as far as having something said that happened that actually didn't, etc. It makes the teacher more vulnerable in some ways. By having a conference in an school, it is more professional.

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Emily Mackie


Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:45 pm
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Home visits at the beginning of the school year seem like a good idea. It's a good way to interact with students and get an idea of what the year will be like with them. I think parents need to be contacted and permission should be given to the teacher before a meeting at home is planned. I also think that if parents are uncomfortable with the home visits then maybe the teacher and parents can still meet at school during the beginning of the year. Parents like to meet their child's teacher and get a feeling of who their child is spending their days with.

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Lauren Jennings


Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:49 pm
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I think that home visits are going to depend on where you are teaching. I think it could be a great way to get to know your students better while giving their parents a chance to learn about their child's teacher as well. Although this experience seems like a win-win for both sides I think it really depends on where you live and where you teach. If you don't fit into the community where you teach at all, or if you don't understand the culture of where you teach, your home visits are much more likely to cause the negative affects of judging your students or of starting the year off with miscommunications with the parents of your students because you said something that offended them while visiting their home. I think that if home visits fit your personality then they can be a great outreach on your part to both your students and their parents BUT if it seems like something you would have never thought of on your own, its probably better to find another method of getting to know your students and their families.

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Katie Tyndall


Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:41 am
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I agree with Amanda that teachers should pre-warn families that they are coming and allow them to refuse or reschedule. I think it is wonderful so that students, teachers, and the family get a closer connection. Plus, as teachers, we can see where they are coming from. If you go to a filthy home with a drunk dad, you may want to keep an eye on that student. However, some families are busy and don't have time. I know personally, I hate when people come to my apartment without telling me first. I want my apartment to be perfect. I'm sure other families feel the same way. However, honestly, how often do teachers visit their students' homes? None of mine ever did and I've never heard of it untill I went to college.

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Jessica Placke


Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:31 pm
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My first year teaching for my ILT (initially licensed teacher) program we had to ride the bus with our students in the afternoon. We didn't have to ride every bus route we just had to pick one, but it still gave us all a pretty good idea about where and how our students live. I don't know that I am the type of person who would make a home visit, but that was a good way for me to see where some of my students lived.

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Erin Painter


Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:11 am
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I think that teachers doing home visits with their students and their familes is a good idea. Doing this allows the teacher to better understand that particular child and where they come from. Once a teacher does a home visit, they have an idea of what type of home environment that child comes from. Understanding a child's home life can help the teacher better relate to that student without having to literally ask that student questions about it. Any teacher that can better relate to students and understand them is a much better teacher.

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Dana Currin


Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:13 am
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I think that teachers doing home visits is not a good idea. I think that by doing home visits that can change a teacher's perception about a child. If a teacher does one home visit than they have to do one for every child in order to not show favoritism and to do that can be very time consuming. I think its a bad idea unless a child is out of school for a long time and needs help catching up.


Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:49 pm
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I believe that home visits by teachers should only performed on very rare occasions. If a student is "bed-ridden" or incapable of attending school, then yes a teacher should visit his/her home. But that teacher should be specially trained to work in such a situation. As for myself, a home visit would be the last thing that I would want to do. I do not want to see the the private personal aspects of my students lives. I believe that making home-visits just to get to know your students would be a little strange and too intrusive.
Just like looking at IQ scores, home visits could skew a teacher's perception of his or her students.

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Corey J. Tucker


Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:44 am
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I can see where home visits could be beneficial, but I think for the most part the families are annoyed by it. Not only would some families consider it rude and intrusive but it could also be a safety issue depending on where you are working. I know that this isn't exactly what most of us want to think about but for me this is unavoidable. I will most likely be teaching in the Charlotte area and depending on where I get hired I could have students that have a pretty bad home life. They could have to deal with abuse or other forms of violence. Not that we shouldn't be involved in their lives and be there for support but sometimes it isn't the best idea to visit their home. I agree with Corey that home visits should be rarely used and only if truly necessary. If for some reason the parents can't meet within the school maybe they could meet you at a public place such as a coffee shop. I am not a supporter of home visits I think mainly because of where I am from and how I have grown up. I would say that I live in a safe area of Charlotte but that does not mean that I stop and get gas after dark. With Charlotte being a big city I feel that you can never really let your guard down. So, maybe in a smaller town home visits would be more appropriate.

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Kelsey McGraw


Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:44 am
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I think that home visits can be beneficial in many ways. I think they are especially good for pre-kindergarten or kindergarten. If you see where a child lives and how they interact with the parents at home, it can help you get an insight to the student. I don't think home visits would need to be done every year, just the first year the student comes to school. I think it could help if the student met the teacher in their own home, familiar ground, before he/she began school. Like others have said, there should be a set time for the teachers to go to the house and not just show up. If the parent refuses, I don't think the issue should be pushed too far.

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Brittany Norman


Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:30 pm
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This is my first time hearing about home visits and I have to admit they sound a little strange. I don't think home visits are a good idea because there are just going to be too many students to visit. Twenty-five to thirty students is just too much. Teachers have lives too. School things should stay at school. I wouldn't want to go into a student's home because in some cases that could be very unsafe. I think the idea of riding the school buses is better. It would give you an idea of what the homes of some of your students is like without being intrusive. Some parents may not want a teacher to see their home because they are embarrassed of it (some people are like that). I think business should be done in a professional setting, such as school or perhaps going out to dinner or the coffee shop idea like stated in a previous post. If parents are not able to attend a parent/teacher conference, maybe the coffee shop idea could be used to discuss important issues.

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Rebecca D. Evans


Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:14 am
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I feel that home visits are a bit intrusive. I think that in some areas, certain families would not want teachers in their homes. Some may be ashamed of their home and not want teachers there"judging" them based off of what they have. I know that my mom wouldn't have wanted teachers coming to our home. She would not be very happy about that.

I too feel that in some instances it may be dangerous to visit homes. This is not the case in every instance, but I do believe that there are enough crazy people out there that something harmful has the potential to occur.

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Justin McCrary


Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:24 am
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I definitely think that in certain situations, like some of you have expressed, that home visits can be an awesome tool that allows us as teachers to connect with students at a more personal level which would then allow us to teach them according to our interest. We have talked about this a lot in classes, of curtailing our lessons to fit in with the "cultural capital" of our students. For instance, if a student is part of a farming family a math teacher might use questions dealing with farming. Why not connect with students this personally? There are inherent risks, yes, but the potential to impact their lives is a viable tool here that I think should be utilized in order to become the best teachers that we can be.

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Kollin Adam Kalk


Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:09 pm
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