Home Visits 101
Teachers frequently find themselves perplexed as to why their efforts to organise chances for parents to become more involved in classroom activities do not result in positive results. They communicate with their pupils by sending written reminders home with them, as well as through phone, email, and text. A large number of teachers become disheartened and begin to make negative assumptions about parents’ involvement when their repeated attempts to contact them go unanswered.
The establishment of positive interaction and dialogue with families can be facilitated by home visits. Instead of substituting for parent-teacher conferences, they are a mechanism by which teachers exhibit their support for students’ families by visiting the home environment or another site where the family feels at ease and at ease with the teacher and the student Home visits should be motivated by a genuine desire to assist and collaborate with families (see two examples of the best and worst home visits made by two different teachers). Home visits encourage proactive relationships in which teachers provide authentic assistance while also acknowledging the strengths of the family they visit.
For teachers who are interested in doing home visits, the following information will help them get started.
RESEARCH IS ESSENTIAL.
Because of the time commitment and effort required, teachers may be hesitant to incorporate home visits in their classrooms. Many teachers and families have shared their experiences with successful home visits, but without institutional school and district support, a teacher’s capacity to carve out time during the school day to undertake home visits is severely constrained.
Being well-informed on the advantages and rewards of home visits, as well as the difficulties associated with them, is critical for those who are committed to the task. As soon as teachers decide to conduct home visits, they can begin the process of researching, planning, implementing, and documenting the process.
GET TO KNOW YOUR FAMILY
One element is learning about students’ families, their communities and neighbourhoods, languages and/or cultural differences, and work schedules. Another consideration is learning about students’ communities and neighbourhoods. Making home visits culturally sensitive shows respect while also expressing real interest in the rich histories of the families you are meeting with and visiting.
If you want to design a procedure that is achievable, realistic, and beneficial to children and their families, you should look into how others have conducted home visits in the past.
PLAN FROM A STRATEGIC POINT OF VIEW
Teachers who make frequent home visits advise parents to make touch with their children before the school year begins. The benefits of teachers partnering up, travelling together to students’ homes, and presenting themselves to parents during the summer are emphasised by several home visit models. In the first visit, the focus should be on developing a relationship with the parents and offering support while carefully listening to their worries and thoughts. The school personnel should be informed of the home visit schedule (including the place, time, and date) to promote transparency and safety.
BE READY TO CHANGE
It is possible that parents will not feel comfortable meeting in their own house. Alternate sites for family-centred visits may include a public library, a quiet café, or even a fast-food restaurant. Making yourself available on weekends, before school starts, or after the school day can help you be more flexible. Plans for home visits in advance allow instructors to intentionally match up with students who are siblings or live in the same neighbourhood to organise visits when they have students who are siblings or live in the same neighbourhood.
CENTER YOUR ATTENTION ON YOUR STRENGTHS
Upon entering a home with a nonjudgmental attitude, a teacher perceives the home through the eyes of the family who resides there and recognises the family’s assets. Trust and respect are conveyed through a culturally responsive approach and language that is suitable and equity-minded. If the teacher has any worries about a student, they can use the sandwich feedback technique to express those issues between tangible and real compliments based on the kid’s strengths.
MAKE A STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS
Actively listening to parents’ insights, worries, and ideas for their child indicates genuine care and regard for the parent and their child. Teachers should refrain from taking notes on their initial home visits because the act of gathering information may trigger the distrust or suspicion of the parents. Instead, the teacher can ask parents if they have any questions and take mental notes, and then produce a voice memo or write down notes about what was talked about later.
In advance of subsequent home visits, teachers can warn parents that they will be taking notes on any concerns or suggestions that occur during the discussion during the first visit. These notes may serve as a foundation for future school-centred discussions and may also serve as a plan of action upon which teachers and parents may build.
PLEASE REPORT BACK.
Maintenance, revisiting, and keeping current the plan of action developed jointly by the instructor and student’s family is one method of remaining accountable to the kids’ families. Learning from parents about the most successful model of correspondence and then following up with them frequently regarding mutually defined goals for the kid offers both instructors and parents an open, ongoing platform through which to connect and interact regularly.
Home visits are an excellent way to begin building positive communication and relationships between instructors and the families of their students. Home visits are merely the first step in building a strong foundation; cultivating these connections through constant communication is vital to their long-term success.