The concept behind the Teacher Home Visit Program is simple. Teachers and parents/guardians come together as partners, building trust and forming a relationship in which they can take the time to share dreams, expectations, experiences, and tools regarding the student’s academic success. Once a relationship is formed, the partners are empowered and are able to be accountable to each other to make the necessary changes to insure that students experience academic and social success.
The program works much like its name implies. Teachers and administrators arrange for and then visit the homes of MRH students. Usually in the evenings, they meet with parents or guardians, siblings, and pets on their turf. It’s a chance for teachers to better understand the dynamics the child brings with him or her to the classroom.
Teacher home visits have been conducted at all schools in the MRH school district since 2008, a result of a community-driven goal in the 2005-2010 long-range plan and a partnership with the Kalish Foundation. The program has been so successful that the district has included expanding it as part of the MRH long-range goals for 2010-2015.
When home visits successfully help families feel connected, the parents have an increased sense that teachers really care about their student. Most children enjoy having their teacher visit their home. When teachers visit a home, students often feel more important and proud of their family. Home visits can give also teachers the insight they need to help all students succeed. The insights gained from these visits can substantially influence the life of a student.
Read about the program in an article written by Dr. Henke in the May 2011 edition of Educational Leadership.